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The Autonomous AnimalSelf-Governance and the Modern Subject$
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Claire E. Rasmussen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816669561

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816669561.001.0001

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The Choice of Law

The Choice of Law

Autonomy Between Norm and Creation

(p.1) 1 The Choice of Law
The Autonomous Animal

Claire E. Rasmussen

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores the theoretical terrain of autonomy by laying out key debates within theorists of autonomy with a brief overview of a few key debates and tensions within approaches sympathetic to autonomy. It explores the Kantian ideal of autonomy and its influence on Habermas and Castoriadis in tracing the key tensions between autonomy and heteronomy and between a conceptualization of autonomy as law and a conceptualization of autonomy as creation. This distinction frames an apparent tension within Foucault between his characterization of self-governance as a form of power relations in his work on governmentality and his characterization of self-governance as an ethical strategy of freedom in his work on the ethics of care. Examining this tension highlights the continued political importance of autonomy and the necessity of examining the practices of autonomy in context.

Keywords:   autonomy, governmentality, Kantian ideal of autonomy, Habermas, Castoriadis, heteronomy, law, Foucault, self-governance

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