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As a central concept in moral and political philosophy, "autonomy" is generally understood as some form of self-governance or self-direction. Certain Stoics, modern philosophers such as Spinoza, and, most importantly, Immanuel Kant, are among the great philosophers who have offered important insights on the concept. Some theorists analyze autonomy as it relates to the self being moved by its higher-order desires. Others argue that it must be understood as it relates to acting from reason or from a sense of moral duty independent of passion. The essays in this volume analyze the concept and role of autonomy in philosophy as well as their implications in public policy.
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