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Moral Philosophy and Politics

Editor-in-Chief: Schefczyk, Michael

Managing Editor: Schmidt-Petri, Christoph

Ed. by Meyer, Lukas Heinrich / Peacock, Mark / Schaber, Peter

CiteScore 2018: 0.41

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.565

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Anti-Perfectionism and Autonomy in an Imperfect World: Comments on Joseph Raz’s The Morality of Freedom 30 Years On

John Christman
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Philosophy, Political Science and Women’s Studies, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
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Published Online: 2017-04-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2016-0037


There are numerous ways to conceptualize autonomy and to account for its value. Of particular poignancy is the question of whether autonomy has value for those people and cultures that apparently reject liberal principles, otherwise considered. The answer one gives to that question has implications for whether autonomy-based liberalism can or should be seen as a perfectionist political philosophy. I consider these issues by looking again at Joseph Raz’s influential account of autonomy and its relation to his liberal perfectionism. I defend a proceduralist, non-perfectionist account of autonomy that, I argue, improves on Raz’s original view but in ways that are in keeping with its general spirit.

Keywords: Raz; autonomy; liberalism


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-19

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Citation Information: Moral Philosophy and Politics, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 5–25, ISSN (Online) 2194-5624, ISSN (Print) 2194-5616, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mopp-2016-0037.

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