Could Friends of Relational Autonomy be Relational Sufficientarians Rather than Relational Egalitarians?

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This chapter explores the connection between relational autonomy and the relational ideal of justice. Specifically, it assesses the claim (henceforth: the strong connection claim) that relational autonomy presupposes realization of the egalitarian relational ideal of justice in relation to three different relational accounts of autonomy: the historic-, the externalist-, and the content-focused relational accounts. The latter two offer a prima facie reason to accept the strong connection claim. However, this prima facie reason is defeated first, because, intuitively, people who relate as sufficients, but not as equals, could be autonomous and second, because, unlike sufficiency, equality is a comparative notion and one individual’s status as autonomous cannot depend constitutively on the opportunities available to other agents as such. While relational autonomy does not require specifically the satisfaction of the relational egalitarian ideal, it might require the satisfaction of some relational ideal or other; to wit, either relational sufficiency or relational equality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAutonomy and Equality : Relational Approaches
Number of pages23
Place of publicationNew York
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9780367416898
ISBN (Electronic)9780367823344
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy


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