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Exchanging Autonomy

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11/6/2015 10:25:26 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
Hallo to everyone. I had the pleasure to discover this forum and, from the threads that I read, I can say that this website is pretty interesting and useful. I am an economist with a strong interest for philosophy, and in particular authors such as Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, Arendt, Rawls, Habermas. In this thread I would like to get your opinions, questions and suggestions on an idea that I conceived a few years ago, and which is described in my book "Exchanging Autonomy. Inner Motivations as Resources for Tackling the Crises of Our Times".
In this work I defined three kinds of autonomy (relational, functional and existential autonomy) and I proposed some instruments to promote them in our societies. Moreover, I highlighted how these instruments might be useful to deal with issues such as pollution and financialization of the economy.
In a nutshell, I defined relational autonomy as the condition whereby the role (worker, consumer, etc.) that we decide to assume in reality is the cause and not the consequence of our relations with other individuals. For instance, we can think of the person who chooses his friends on the basis of what he likes to do, instead of choosing what he likes to do on the basis of his friends.
Functional autonomy is the condition whereby the role assumed is the consequence and not the cause of the judgement expressed on reality. For instance, we can think of the consumer who decides to purchase some good on the basis of values such as the protection of national industry or respect for the environment, whereas other consumers see values only as a reflection of their preexisting preferences.
Finally, existential autonomy is the condition whereby the individual chooses some values as a consequence and not as the cause of the perception of his own dignity. In this case, an individual might think that his dignity is the basis on which he can choose some values.
I also observed that: relational autonomy implies undertaking actions with characteristics such as rationality; functional autonomy requires choosing some values with characteristics such as the possibility to judge the whole reality; existential autonomy implies the adoption of metavalues. Values can be moral, organizational, cultural, whereas metavalues are elements behind a given value, such as quality of one's relations, which can justify the choice of professionalism as a value.
Among proposals to promote autonomy in our society, I defined exchanges of values and metavalues, as transactions which would imply the transmission of documents testifying the importance of particular inner motivations. Individuals could therefore acquire values independent of their social role, and therefore become functionally autonomous, and metavalues, and therefore become existentially autonomous. Exchanges of values and metavalues could have significant positive impacts in dealing with issues such as pollution and financialization, by giving a public role to inner motivations.
I would be grateful for any reaction on this.