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Concepts of individual autonomy underlie much of contemporary self-understanding, including the institutions and ways of living in modern societies. These concepts of autonomy are complex, even contradictory, and may present problems for our future. This overview sketches the narrative arc of a collection of papers addressing these topics. While autonomy and individuality are not fictions, neither do what we take to be individuality or autonomy have an unchanging reality. We are both influenced by and have an influence upon how these concepts are understood and used, and their implications for our history, our morality, our religious life, and the future of our relationships and our communities.
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Keywords: Ethics; autonomy community; constructionism; empathy; externalism I-consciousness; individuality; intersubjectivity; intimacy; relationality; self-governance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: John A. Teske is Professor of Psychology at Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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