Friday, November 17, 2006

Why Autonomy?

Why autonomy? Answers given by Castoriadis are: Once you have discovered/created autonomy you want to have it; autonomy is the only defensible position (for people who know it) and so on. But is it perfectly clear that a little heteronomy cannot be good - for some people, who do not want it otherwise? Doesn't heteronomy make it easier to live "life as usual", and a peaceful one? Is it not a cross to bear, to be the one who puts everything into question all the time? Yes it is.

If the philosopher makes this into a moral norm, he is straining and overburdening the individual. Autonomy must be collectively instituted: but even so ...

One of Henrik Ibsen's characters once said that if you take the grand illusions from a person, you take away his whole joy for life. This is a paradox. But the question remains: why autonomy, or rather, what is really so bad about heteronomy?


At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Evangelos said...

Maybe you should search Pericles Funeral Oration to find why. Because, the famous demo-crat states that 'happiness equals freedom'. Also, I think that a combination of A.S.Niel's and Castoriadis' works would help a lot.

At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Ingerid S. said...

Yes, maybe I should read those texts. But consider the following:
As this webpage points out:
Castoriadis's political concept of autonomy would render 'heteronomous' a tribe of Indians in the Amazonas who live by the laws of the ancestors, whereas many other thinkers would use the concept autonomy for such a community. If Castoriadian autonomy is better than their present "heteronomy", we have no good arguments against breaking into their oasis with our more "advanced" way of thinking. But in this case, many would say that "heteronomy" would be preferable, or that autonomy means to be able to make one's own laws, trancendentally founded or not.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Evangelos said...

Hmmm... I guess there is possibility of me being wrong. I 've just read a castoriadian text that says that the purpose of politics can't be happiness, but collective autonomy. I think that -according to castoriadis' point of view- this tribe you 're talking about would be autonomous even if they lived by their ancestors' laws, provided they had chosen them not because it's their ancestors' laws but freely. Excuse me but i can' t understand what you say in the two last sentences. Could you rewrite them? Thanks


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