Part 2.4: Autonomy Competency

11 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2008

Date Written: 1989


Part II. Section 4. Autonomy Competency:

Meyers takes John Rawls to task for giving a superficial account of autonomy. Endorsing deliberative rationality, he furnishes no account of how to achieve it. Meyers argues that her conception of autonomy competency fills the gap in Rawls's theory. Moreover, it is compatible with the emotional bonds of a relational self, and, acknowledging human fallibility, it provides an account of how autonomous people can recognize and correct their missteps. In the context of a critique of Michael Sandel's distinction between the cognitive self and the voluntarist self, Meyers shows that autonomy competency allows for individual control and innovation without denying the social situatedness of the autonomous subject.

Suggested Citation

meyers, diana, Part 2.4: Autonomy Competency (1989). Available at SSRN: or

Diana Meyers (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut ( email )

215 Glenbrook Road, U-4098
Storrs, CT 06269-4098
United States

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