Values of Autonomy
This chapter presents a variety of considerations suggesting that autonomy is a valuable ideal, focusing on its value for (many) women. The focus is on women for several reasons. First, autonomy has not always been idealized for women. Even though autonomy is more widely encouraged and supported in women than ever before, it is still not regarded as a particularly feminine value or virtue. If a case for autonomy can be made out for women in particular against this history, then the case for autonomy in general should prove easier to secure. Second, feminist philosophers have figured prominently among those who have expressed doubts and reservations about the value of autonomy. Focusing on the case of women's autonomy in particular helps to answer those criticisms.
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