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Print version ISSN 1692-8857
On-line version ISSN 2011-7477


MACIOCE, Fabio. What can we do? A philosophical analysis of individual self-determination. Eidos [online]. 2012, n.16, pp.100-129. ISSN 1692-8857.

The principle of self-determination, as commonly established, is based on a formal and individualistic view of liberty rights. This perspective, however, is inconsistent with the needs of a community and particularly with the necessity to promote integration between subjects and a relatively stable social order. I propose a different perspective, the one that not only takes into account individuals but also relationships. In particular, what I propose is: 1) that any community is aware of a specific social order, which consists of a set of practices, 2) that these practices express specific values, 3) that these values are the result of historical and cultural circumstances, 4) that they are subject to a permanent public debate, and finally 5) that the individual praxis can lead to recognition of rights only if it is consistent with these values. In this perspective there is no general liberty for self-determination of the subject outside specific relationships. It only could be stated that one has a practical liberty (not a right) to do and behave as one wants, but one's rights depend on the relationships in which the person is engaged.

Keywords : Self-determination; relationships; community; values; rights; liberty; individualism.

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