Abstract: This chapter develops a point made in preceding chapters that autonomy, although socially grounded, has an individualizing dimension — a dimension that is defend against the worries of critics. The main thesis is that: at the same time that we embrace relational accounts of autonomy, we should also be cautious about them. Autonomy increases the risk of disruption in interpersonal relationships. While this is an empirical and not a conceptual claim about autonomy, nevertheless, the risk is significant and its bearing on the value of autonomy is therefore empirically significant. It makes a difference in particular to whether the ideal of autonomy is genuinely hospitable to women.
Comment: This chapter presents an account of autonomy that sits between highly relational and highly individual accounts of autonomy.