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Document Details :
Title: Individual Autonomy and a Culture of Narcissism
Author(s): BURMS, Arnold
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Date: December 1998
Autonomy, self-determination, self-affirmation, emancipation: all these words refer to an ideal that orients the way in which our contemporary culture speaks about many moral and political problems. The importance of this ideal for us can be seen in the way we accept as obvious a number of ideas that follow from it. Most of us would certainly tend to accept that no universally valid answer can be given to the question of what kind of human life is truly meaningful or valuable and that, because of this, people should be granted as much freedom as possible to pursue a life that best corresponds with their own personal tastes and preferences. Many would go a step further and claim that people should also be encouraged to live as much as possible according to what they have themselves chosen, and that they should give up traditional forms of life and role patterns.