Republican autonomy

Ezechiel THIBAUD

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Other Conference Paperpeer-review


Neo-republicans have provided a strong definition of freedom as the absence of domination, and this definition contrasts with the liberal emphasis on liberty as non-interference. But neorepublicans seem to lack a clear and distinct definition of autonomy. This paper is an attempt to determine what constitutes autonomy from a classic and a neo-republican perspective.

My first goal is to understand the structure and characteristics of what constitutes a republican form of autonomy, and what distinguishes it from other perspectives (liberal, hierarchical, relational, etc.). In order to do so, I go over the classic republican tradition, from Aristotle to Rousseau, and analyze the main components of this kind of autonomy and its link with citizenship and civic virtue. My second goal is to question Philipp Pettit’s affirmation that freedom as non-domination has been the core idea of republicanism since Cicero. I argue that a closer look at the republican tradition provides a different understanding of freedom: Classic republican liberty seems to be closer to a form of civic autonomy than to the absence of domination. From this observation, I raise the question of what the implications of this claim would mean for republicanism today.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Event2019 Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference - University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 4 Dec 20196 Dec 2019


Conference2019 Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference
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