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Title: Autonomy, well-being and the law
Author: Kalliris, Konstantinos
ISNI:       0000 0003 7911 0554
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Two major intuitions dominate contemporary legal and political philosophy. One springs from a form of objectivism: if we can know what is good for people, states should, in principle, help them lead good lives. The other is the widely shared presumption in favour of freedom, a principle often cited in debates regarding the limits of the law. As people often fail to serve their own good, the conflicts that inevitably arise between the two positions raise crucial questions regarding legislation and governmental policies. An attempt to resolve these conflicts must start from a critical evaluation of the content of our intuitions. Freedom seems to be most valued when understood as personal autonomy, i.e. a principle of free self- authorship. On the other hand, the' good' we expect the state to promote is what is good for persons, i.e. their personal well-being. Once we have appreciated the value of personal autonomy as well as the basic elements of well-being, we can conclude that there is an aspect of the latter that can be justifiably promoted by appropriately mild coercive means. This is a job for legal paternalism. The other aspect, which is dependent on the successful pursuit of wholeheartedly endorsed goals and projects allows only for encouragement and argument on the p311 of the state. These conclusions have significant implications for the justification and practice of legal paternalism as well as for the non-paternalistic promotion of well-being in schemes that are often categorised under the heading 'liberal perfectionism'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available