that thing called autonomy

Kant, the old and dead german philosopher claimed that we should only follow those rules that we have given ourselves through reason and never (unreflectedly) follow rules that come from others. This is what he called auto-nomy. As it turns out, this works at best for adult, knowledgeable and sane people. And even they usually follow traditions, their moral intuition, or just do what they are told to do; doing any otherwise would be pointless.

Autonomy is actually much better suited to humanity as a whole. It is all of us who should only act according to rules we have intentionally set for ourselves. Together we can be autonomous, on our own we don’t get very far.


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