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Grant number like: FT-52592-04

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John Joseph Davenport
Fordham University College at Lincoln Center (New York, NY 10023)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2004 – 8/31/2004

Autonomy and Authenticity: An Existential Approach

This project is to begin composing a monograph (which I'll then finish in a fall 2004 sabbatical) on two key concepts in moral psychology: individual autonomy, as an ideal of self-determination; and authenticity, as an ideal of serious commitment to one's own worthwhile ends. After giving my analysis of Frankfurt's theory of autonomy and major alternatives to it (which dominate the recent analytic literature) I will develop my interpretation of personal autonomy in terms of a form of self-motivation that I describe as existential commitment or resolve. This analysis will build on my existential account of the striving will to defend the moral importance of two ideals of agency that are pre-conditions for virtue properly understood.