Individual Autonomy (individual + autonomy)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Moral Education Between Hope and Hopelessness: The Legacy of Janusz Korczak

ABSTRACT The responsibility for addressing morality and moral education in the current moral climate is a daunting task for conscientious educators. What educational response can extricate us from the debilitating feelings of hopelessness and helplessness as we are confronted by horrific terrorist actions, controversial use of military might, displays of corruption and greed and a growing general tension and anxiety? At this demoralizing juncture of uncertainty and doubt, the figure of Janusz Korczak (1878,1942), a Jewish-Polish educator, looms large. For more than 30 years, Korczak devoted his life to educating orphaned Jewish and non-Jewish children. He stayed with the Jewish children to the end as they all perished in a concentration camp. At a time when the surrounding society surrendered to fascism, anti-Semitism, and self-destruction, Korczak encouraged individual autonomy and caring relationships within the context of a community where a vision of justice and trust was an integral part of life. The orphanages he directed were democratic, self-ruled communities, where the children had their own parliament, court, and newspaper. This article describes the principles and the actualization of Korczak's moral education and explores how Korczak reconciled the differences between the ethical world he created in his institutions and the surrounding immoral society. The example set by Korczak's educational praxis serves as an inspiring model of school life across the boundaries of time and place and touches our need to believe in education's responsibility to strive and struggle for a better world, even when it seems an unattainable goal. And the hour shall come when a man will know himself, respect, and love. And the hour shall come in history's clock when man shall know the place of good, the place of evil, the place of pleasure, and the place of pain. (Korczak, 1978, p. 237) [source]

Work, health and welfare: new challenges,

Johannes SiegristArticle first published online: 19 JUN 200
Gainful employment is a core prerequisite of individual autonomy and the well-being of a majority of adult people, preventing them from economic dependence on welfare transfer. Yet, the quality of work and employment acts as an important determinant of work ability and health. This contribution offers an extended framework for analysing quality of work by introducing a theoretical approach towards assessing an adverse psychosocial work environment. Two models are briefly described, the demand-control and effort-reward imbalance models, and selected empirical evidence demonstrating their health-adverse effects is summarised. Importantly, poor quality of work in addition reinforces employees' intentions to leave their job as soon as possible. Results from a recent survey in ten European countries support this observation. In view of these findings and their relevance for occupational health and the prevention of early retirement, policy implications aimed at improving quality of work are discussed. [source]

Solitude and the Restlessness of the Immemorial: Levinasian Traces in the Discourse of Patrick Modiano

Karen D. Levy
Emmanuel Levinas contested Western ontology's insistence on the importance of individual autonomy and systematized knowledge, developing a new description of how identity and intersubjectivity are constructed. In the early De l'existence à l'existant and Le Temps et l'autre, he explains how the effort of existing is assumed, creating a sense of mastery but also of solitude, for the ego and the self are tied to one another, but it is not until Totalité et Infini that he elaborates on the ethical encounter with the face as discourse. In his last major work Autrement qu'être ou au-delà de l'essence, he focuses on the consequences of this epiphany for the subject, and relates this to the trace, a special kind of sign that focuses not so much on the relationship between sign and referent as on the irreversible passing of those who left them. The paired texts of Patrick Modiano's Voyage de noces and Dora Bruder most strikingly inscribe the simultaneous self-absorption and tedium of existing, but also depict how traces from the immemorial shatter the subject's autonomy. Modiano is haunted by the missing person ad's description of a runaway girl who disappeared in December 1941, was interned in Drancy the following summer and then deported to Auschwitz. He first wrote Voyage de noces to exorcise the spell the ad cast upon him, was eventually compelled to respond directly to the summons by composing Dora Bruder. Modiano tries to retrieve fragments of the adolescent Dora's past and rescue her from oblivion, but his efforts prove largely futile, for there is no memory to retrieve. His insistence on Dora's decision to remain in Drancy with her father makes it possible for him to forgive his own father's failings and acknowledge his admiration both for him and all those who defied Occupation hypocrisy. Lastly, Modiano's text calls upon us as readers to become the guardians of the pleas that French authorities ignored and thereby accept the summons of the immemorial ourselves. [source]

A Tripartite Approach to Right-Wing Authoritarianism: The Authoritarianism-Conservatism-Traditionalism Model

John Duckitt
Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) has been conceptualized and measured as a unidimensional personality construct comprising the covariation of the three traits of authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism. However, new approaches have criticized this conceptualization and instead viewed these three "traits" as three distinct, though related, social attitude dimensions. Here we extend this approach providing clear definitions of these three dimensions as ideological attitude constructs of Authoritarianism, Conservatism, and Traditionalism. These dimensions are seen as attitudinal expressions of basic social values or motivational goals that represent different, though related, strategies for attaining collective security at the expense of individual autonomy. We report data from five samples and three different countries showing that these three dimensions could be reliably measured and were factorially distinct. The three dimensions also differentially predicted interpersonal behaviour, social policy support, and political party support. It is argued that conceptualizing and measuring RWA as a set of three related ideological attitude dimensions may better explain complex sociopolitical phenomena than the currently dominant unidimensional personality based model. [source]

Liberal Nationalism and Cultural Rights

Geoffrey Brahm Levey
Liberal nationalists such as Yael Tamir and Will Kymlicka have argued for an extravagant range of cultural rights based on respect for individual autonomy. I present an alternative account of the moral import of liberal autonomy for the status of cultural minorities. The article examines three pivotal aspects of Tamir's argument for cultural rights and argues that, in each case, Tamir's position fails to honour the value of individual autonomy, and in ways parallel to Kymlicka's argument. These shared difficulties point to some basic ontological and moral properties of a genuine autonomy-based defence of cultural rights. [source]

Legal issues in maximum security institutions for people with mental illness: liberty, security, and administrative discretion

John Petrila J.D., LL.M.
This article explores four legal issues relevant to the provision of care in secure hospitals. These include the current status of right to treatment litigation; the potential impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act; new developments in laws governing restraint and seclusion; and the need for uniform institutional policies on risk assessment. These issues illustrate the potential conflicts between individual autonomy and institutional control that have been at the heart of mental health law for three decades. The article suggests that because of the diminishing oversight provided by the federal judiciary, institutional custodians have a particular obligation to ensure that individual rights are not overwhelmed by concerns with security. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


BIOETHICS, Issue 6 2009
ABSTRACT There is concern that the use of neuroenhancements to alter character traits undermines consumer's authenticity. But the meaning, scope and value of authenticity remain vague. However, the majority of contemporary autonomy accounts ground individual autonomy on a notion of authenticity. So if neuroenhancements diminish an agent's authenticity, they may undermine his autonomy. This paper clarifies the relation between autonomy, authenticity and possible threats by neuroenhancements. We present six neuroenhancement scenarios and analyse how autonomy accounts evaluate them. Some cases are considered differently by criminal courts; we demonstrate where academic autonomy theories and legal reasoning diverge and ascertain whether courts should reconsider their concept of autonomy. We argue that authenticity is not an appropriate condition for autonomy and that new enhancement technologies pose no unique threats to personal autonomy. [source]

Indoctrination, Moral Instruction, and Nonrational Beliefs: A Place for Autonomy?

Michael S. Merry
The manner in which individuals hold various nonevidentiary beliefs is critical to making any evaluative claim regarding an individual's autonomy. In this essay, I argue that one may be both justified in holding nonrational beliefs of a nonevidentiary sort while also being capable of leading an autonomous life. I defend the idea that moral instruction, including that which concerns explicitly religious content, may justifiably constitute a set of commitments upon which rationality and autonomy are dependent. I situate this discussion against the backdrop of a minimalist notion of autonomy. I then consider the case for nonrational beliefs, examining the difference between those whose content is objectionable on evidentiary grounds and those that are immune to verification. Next, I consider the indoctrination/moral instruction distinction through examining the various ways in which indoctrination is defined. I also consider the role that value coherence plays in shaping our identities, paying particular attention to fundamental commitments as defined by our respective families, cultures, and communities. Finally, I argue that individual psychology is central to our ability to assess the outcome of an upbringing purported to be indoctrinatory, and I emphasize the important role that experience and agency play in enabling us to evaluate our beliefs. [source]