The question of autonomy is fundamental to understanding some of the most important questions and debates in contemporary political and moral life, from freedom of the individual, free will and decision-making to controversies surrounding medical ethics, human rights and the justifications for state intervention. It is also a crucial concept for understanding the development of liberalism.

The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy is a comprehensive survey and assessment of the key figures, debates and problems surrounding autonomy. Comprising over forty chapters by an international team of contributors, the Handbook is divided into five clear parts:

  • Autonomy through History
  • Foundations of Autonomy
  • Threats to Autonomy
  • The Significance of Autonomy
  • Autonomy in Application.

Within these sections, all the essential topics are addressed, making The Routledge Handbook of Autonomy an outstanding reference source for those in political philosophy, ethics, applied ethics and philosophy of law. It is also highly recommended reading for those in related subjects, such as politics, social policy and education.

chapter |10 pages


part 1|99 pages

Autonomy through History

chapter 3|11 pages

Autonomy and Stoicism

chapter 4|11 pages

Kant on Autonomy of the Will

chapter 5|10 pages

Autonomy after Kant

chapter 7|10 pages

Mill on Autonomy

chapter 8|11 pages

Pragmatism and Autonomy

chapter 9|14 pages

Rawls's Conception of Autonomy

part 2|99 pages

Foundations of Autonomy

chapter 10|14 pages

Autonomy and the Metaphysics of Agency

What's So Great about Being a Self-Governing Agent?

chapter 11|11 pages

Doing What Comes Naturally

Autonomy as Liberation

chapter 13|11 pages

Autonomy and Responsibility

chapter 14|9 pages

Scaffolding and Autonomy

chapter 15|11 pages

Autonomy and Dignity

chapter 16|11 pages

Autonomy and Personal History

chapter 17|10 pages

Autonomy and Autobiography

Telling Our Stories

chapter 18|11 pages

Autonomy for Changing Selves

part 3|80 pages

Threats to Autonomy

chapter 19|10 pages

Autonomy and Coercion

chapter 20|11 pages

Manipulation and Autonomy

chapter 21|11 pages

Lying and Autonomy

chapter 23|13 pages

Ineffective Intentions

How Oppressive Scripts Undermine Autonomy

chapter 25|10 pages

Paternalism and Autonomy

Pushing the Limits

part 4|77 pages

The Significance of Autonomy

chapter 27|10 pages

Autonomy as an Ideal of the Good

chapter 28|11 pages

Autonomy and Rights

chapter 29|11 pages

Autonomy and Capability

chapter 30|11 pages

Autonomy and Justice

chapter 31|11 pages

Gender Autonomy

chapter 32|11 pages

Autonomy and Consent

part 5|92 pages

Autonomy in Application

chapter 33|10 pages

Autonomy and Religion

chapter 35|10 pages

Autonomy and Work

chapter 36|10 pages

Autonomy and Free Markets

chapter 37|10 pages

Children and Autonomy

chapter 38|10 pages

Autonomy, Upbringing and Education

chapter 39|10 pages

Autonomy and Mental Health

chapter 40|8 pages

Autonomy and End-of-Life

chapter 41|11 pages

Assisted Autonomy in Dementia