[lit-ideas] Re: Ethnic Pride, Black Truck Style

  • From: "John McCreery" <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2007 11:28:23 +0900

On 8/4/07, Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

 Back to Kant, there are autonomous activities and clearly
> the goal is to maximize the number of these activities


I am having trouble getting my head around "autonomous activities." Could we
have some examples?

Partly, I am certain, my confusion is linguistic, arising from the
similarity of "autonomous" to "autonomic" or "automatic," both of which
refer to processes that do what they do unless interfered with.

"Autonomous," I'm assuming, involves an actor who is conscious of and makes
a choice that accords with some principle, refusing to be swayed by
circumstance. I think, then, of Socrates drinking the Hemlock or Jesus of
Nazareth, who, in Gethsemane, prayed to his heavenly Father that he be
allowed to escape Calvary but then took up his cross, as we might say now,
"like a man." But doubt creeps in. Were these, in fact, autonomous
activities, if the circumstances are taken into account?

Genuinely puzzled, in a pleasant philosophical sort of way.


John McCreery
The Word Works, Ltd., Yokohama, JAPAN
Tel. +81-45-314-9324

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