On the Limits of the Principle of Sufficient Autonomy

2018 Law, Ethics and Philosophy  
In his recent book, Just Enough, Liam Shields offers a novel defense of the Principle of Sufficient Autonomy. According to this principle, each citizen is owed 'enough' powers of deliberation and scope for decision-making as a matter of justice in order to satisfy our fundamental interest in acting and believing freely. In this article, I offer two objections against this view. The first objection challenges the plausibility of the principle. I argue that the principle that Shields derives from
more » ... hields derives from our interest in freedom will struggle to secure the proper protection for our capacities for autonomous behavior that many autonomy-minded liberals would expect the principle to provide. The second objection challenges the distinctiveness of the principle. I argue that Shields' defense cannot successfully dismiss all of its competitors and I offer an account of constitutive welfarism to illustrate this point.
doi:10.31009/leap.2017.v5.14 fatcat:jnp2m7tkavfgjpwkt5hnv5pl44