Autonomy, Independence, the Self and Identity

    • Cover Photo
    • Presentation speakers
      • Emanuel Crudu, Euroacademia (Paris, Lucca & Brussels)


    Identities are fluid relational constructs with many features escaping consistent explanatory agreement. The concept of identity in the history of philosophy is deeply contested, often avoided for lack of substantive explanatory consistence or even rejected for inseminating conceptual confusion and disagreement. This paper will address once more in a reflective inquiry the relation between autonomy, the self and personal identity. Since identity making processes require a degree of autonomy and agency, this paper will look at the intricate problems emerging from the social and historical genealogy of identities that indicate a rooting of the self in heteronomy and external competing logics of appropriateness (J. Olsen). Following J. B. Schneewind’s placement of autonomy at the core of modern philosophy starting with Kant, the presentation will mainly address the conceptual confusions derived from substantive and careful lack of delineation and interchangeable usage of different and often divergent views on individual autonomy, independence or self-governance in contemporary philosophy. The paper will address the dynamics of conceiving identity in relation with the self, starting from the Kantian principial view on autonomy to contemporary placements of autonomy in relation with historicity, finitude and alterity making practices inherent to the making of the self within a social `genetic soup` (J.Olsen) and in the boundaries of social imaginary institutions (C. Castoriadis).