The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy

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Abstract

Theories of autonomy commonly make reference to some form of endorsement: an action is autonomous insofar as the agent has a second-order desire towards the motivating desire, or takes it to be a reason for action, or is not alienated from it. In this paper I argue that all such theories have difficulty accounting for certain kinds of agents, what I call 'Woody Allen cases'. In order to make sense of such cases, I suggest, it is necessary to disambiguate two distinct forms of endorsement, both of which contribute to autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-747
Number of pages19
JournalNous
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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