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The Mafioso Case: Autonomy and Self-respect

Carla Bagnoli
Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
Vol. 12, No. 5, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: How do They Relate? (November 2009), pp. 477-493
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27764617
Page Count: 17
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The Mafioso Case: Autonomy and Self-respect
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Abstract

This article argues that immoralists do not fully enjoy autonomous agency because they are not capable of engaging in the proper form of practical reflection, which requires relating to others as having equal standing. An adequate diagnosis of the immoralist's failure of agential authority requires a relational account of reflexivity and autonomy. This account has the distinctive merit of identifying the cost of disregarding moral obligations and of showing how immoralists may become susceptible to practical reason. The compelling quality of reason should not be represented as the capacity to force them to abide by morality on pain of incoherence. Rather, its authority (and objectivity) is shown when it presents them with the prospect of a transition that makes sense for them to undertake.

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