1st Edition

New Interdisciplinary Perspectives On and Beyond Autonomy

Edited By Christopher Watkin, Oliver Davis Copyright 2023

    What does ‘autonomy’ mean today? Is the Enlightenment understanding of autonomy still relevant for contemporary challenges? How have the limits and possibilities of autonomy been transformed by recent developments in artificial intelligence and big data, political pressures, intersecting oppressions and the climate emergency? The challenges to autonomy today reach across society with unprecedented complexity, and in this book leading scholars from philosophy, economics, linguistics, literature and politics examine the role of autonomy in key areas of contemporary life, forcefully defending a range of different views about the nature and extent of resistance to autonomy today. These essays are essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the predicament and prospects of one of modernity’s foundational concepts and one of our most widely cherished values.

    Chapter 5.6 and 9 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    List of Contributors

    Christopher Watkin, Introduction: ‘The Ends of Autonomy’

    Part I: Autonomy, Philosophy and Politics

    1. Nick Hewlett, ‘Karl Marx and the concept of freedom’

    2. Peter Hallward, ‘A law unto ourselves: reclaiming autonomy as mass sovereignty’

    3. Taylor Lau, ‘Against the economic view of time: the claim to free time’

    Part II: Autonomy, Technology and Pharmacology

    4. Tim Christiaens, ‘Convivial autonomy in platform capitalism’

    5. Oliver Davis, ‘Autonomy and autoheteronomy in psychedelically assisted psychotherapy’

    6. Simon D. Angus, ‘How liberating is liberation technology?’

    Part III: Autonomy, Climate and Capacity

    7. Ash K. Stokoe, ‘Crip autonomy and external limitations: the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and governmental pandemic management measures on disabled people in the United Kingdom’

    8. Graham Wood, ‘Sustainable freedom’

    9. Dan Taylor, ‘Climate anxiety, fatalism and the capacity to act’

    Part IV: Autonomy, Language and Power

    10. Jeremy Ahearne, ‘World Lingua Franca Regimes and Real Freedoms’

    11. Ali Alizadeh, ‘Freedom to Live: Robespierre, Marx and Social Liberty’

    12. Felicity Chaplin, ‘"Liberty leading the people"? Dress liberty in Post-#MeToo France’



    Christopher Watkin is Australian Research Council Future Fellow in European Languages at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His recent books include French Philosophy Today (2016), Michel Serres: Figures of Thought (2020) and Biblical Critical Theory (2022). You can find him on the web at christopherwatkin.com, and on Twitter @DrChrisWatkin.

    Oliver Davis is Professor of French Studies at Warwick University, UK. He is the author of Jacques Rancière (2010), editor of Rancière Now (2013) and co-author, with Tim Dean, of Hatred of Sex (2022), among other works. He serves as Executive Editor of Modern & Contemporary France. He is currently researching the political stewardship of psychedelics.