The starting point of this paper is the idea of individual autonomy: Autonomy from the social body and from its influences, i.e., broadly speaking, autonomy from the “whole” of which the individual is a part. In particular, I shall address some of the problems arising out of the relations between the whole and its parts, basically problems of law and morality. We are accustomed to thinking that the relation between a particular individual and the universal whole to which the individual belongs should be a happy relationship. Such “happiness,” however, will prove to be—from the liberal perspective here assumed—a problematic notion. From such premises as these, an argument will be developed, on behalf of social recognition and legal protection for out-of-the mainstream forms of behaviour or lifestyles, i.e., for individuals or groups that claim the “otherness” of their position together with a right of freedom from discrimination.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Bologna, Faculty of Law, Via Zamboni 27/29, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
Publication date: 01 December 1998