Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

International Workshop “Women Philosophers on Autonomy”, Yeditepe University, 5-6th May.

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“Women Philosophers on Autonomy”
International Workshop
Yeditepe University, Department of Philosophy
Istanbul, May 5-6th 2016
Contact: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Alberto L. Siani (alberto.siani@gmail.com)


The workshop is organized in the frameworks of the newly instituted hub “Turkish European Network for the Study of Women in Philosophy” and of the newly instituted Joint Master Program “History of Women Philosophers/History of Philosophy” (University of Paderborn-Yeditepe University Istanbul). The overall aim of these two projects is the study of women philosophers and of the changes in the canonical history of philosophy resulting from a thorough consideration of the women contribution. Within this broader framework, this workshop addresses the women philosophers’ contribution to a particularly relevant topic: the notion of autonomy. Autonomy, together with its cognate concepts (self-determination, self-mastery, self-government etc.), is among the central concepts across the whole history and the whole spectrum of the philosophical debate, yet the women philosophers’ contribution to its development has been seldom investigated.
The notion of autonomy is virtually to be encountered in every area of philosophy. For the sake of simplicity one can identify three main aspects: autonomy in its relation with rationality, personality, self-identity, authenticity (personal autonomy), autonomy in its relation with freedom, moral values, moral motivations (moral autonomy), and autonomy in its relation with forms of government, state sovereignty, legal and social structures and institutions (political autonomy). The three aspects are clearly interrelated, yet not reducible to one another. Historically, autonomy has constituted an essential component of Western rationality, from Plato’s and Aristoteles’ rational self-determination up to the political autonomy and perfectionism debate in contemporary liberal philosophy, passing through the Stoic notion of self-sufficiency, Spinoza’s notion of adequate ideas and Kant’s moral autonomy as rooted in practical reason. Issues related to autonomy inform not only the philosophical practice, but also our daily life. Hardly a single dimension of life can escape evaluations in terms of autonomy: psychological autonomy, economic autonomy, legal autonomy, physical autonomy, autonomy of taste etc.
At the same time, the notion of autonomy has been the subject of significant criticism following at least two major threads: autonomy as outweighing or even endangering interpersonal or collective values (equality, solidarity, care etc.) and autonomy as alienating or marginalizing individual or collective subjects to which, for different reasons, a strong form of autonomy does not apply (persons with physical or psychological disabilities or in dire economic conditions, women in traditional communities or households, LGBTI persons, ethnic and religious minorities and even whole states). Since autonomy remains a fundamental and possibly non dispensable concept, formulating a more sophisticated and non-exclusive version of it is a major task whose importance goes far beyond the borders of the academic debate.
This workshop aims at illuminating possible patterns of this reformulation by bringing to light and critically assessing the contribution by women philosophers throughout the whole history of philosophy.

Written by albertolsiani

April 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Feminist History of Philosophy.

    Sandrine Berges

    April 26, 2016 at 1:05 pm

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