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The Empowered SelfLaw and Society in the Age of Individualism$
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Thomas Franck

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248094

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248094.001.0001

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Personal Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and their Democratic Reconciliation

Personal Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and their Democratic Reconciliation

Chapter:
(p.255) 10 Personal Freedom, Personal Responsibility, and their Democratic Reconciliation
Source:
The Empowered Self
Author(s):

THOMAS M. FRANCK

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248094.003.0010

This study has focused on the emerging right of individuals autonomously to design their personal identities by deliberately and freely selecting from among a range of options. It has sought to demonstrate that in recent years, just as individuals were being emancipated to create freely chosen identities, the range of available options was also broadening exponentially. This broadening has occurred as an incidental social consequence of progress in areas such as science, technology, and the economy. Today, in many societies, decisions once dictated by enforced communitarian values have been relegated to personal preference and conscience. The right to be let alone is at last being realised with the help of national and international law as well as of changing social attitudes. It must be acknowledged, however, that these salutary consequences of individualism's progress have not invariably followed.

Keywords:   personal freedom, personal responsibility, individualism, conscience, personal preference, scientific progress

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