Autonomy and Depression

In K. W. M. Fulford, Martin Davis, George Graham, John Sadler, Giovanni Stanghellini & Tim Thornton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. Oxford University Press. pp. 1155-1170 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I address two related challenges the phenomenon of depression raises for conceptions according to which autonomy is an agency concept and an independent source of justification. The first challenge is directed at the claim that autonomous agency involves intending under the guise of the good: the robust though not always direct link between evaluation and motivation implied here seems to be severed in some instances of depression; yet, this does not seem to affect the possibility of autonomous action. The second challenge targets the feasibility of a reliable distinction between autonomous and non-autonomous choices in the context of depression: value-neutral and value-laden ways of drawing the distinction seem both open to decisive objections. I develop an account of paradoxical identification which supports a revised value-neutral distinction between autonomous and non-autonomous choices in the context of depression (my response to challenge 2), and shows that depression is inconsistent with autonomy to the extent that it involves an agent’s (paradoxical) identification with projects she implicitly loathes, that is, to the extent that depression thwarts intending under the guise of the good (my response to challenge 1).



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

826 (#13,693)

6 months
53 (#56,911)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lubomira Radoilska
University of Kent

Citations of this work

Agency, Autonomy and Euthanasia.George L. Mendz & David W. Kissane - 2020 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 48 (3):555-564.
Depression’s Threat to Self-Governance.August Gorman - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (2):277-297.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Unprincipled virtue: an inquiry into moral agency.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics.Onora O'Neill - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
IX.—Essentially Contested Concepts.W. B. Gallie - 1956 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 56 (1):167-198.

View all 22 references / Add more references