Single Idea 21739

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / A. Freedoms / 5. Freedom of lifestyle]

Full Idea

Universal self-ownership fails to ensure autonomy, since it tends to produce proletarians, who lack it.

Gist of Idea

Plenty of people have self-ownership, but still lack autonomy


G.A. Cohen (Are Freedom and Equality Compatible? [1986], 3)

Book Reference

'Contemporary Political Philosophy (2nd ed)', ed/tr. Goodin,RE/Pettit,P [Blackwell 2006], p.423

A Reaction

The implication is that autonomy is not a property of individuals but a social phenomenon. Self-owning people can still be imprisoned. What about autonomy without self-ownership? A bright slave who is given extensive responsibility?