Paperback / softback
April 16, 2003
9780878409068
English
304
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.9 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD, £22.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Perversion of Autonomy, Revised and Expanded Edition

Coercion and Constraints in a Liberal Society

Modern psychological and political theory meet head-on in this powerful re-evaluation of America's contradictory and sometimes dangerous addiction to individualism. Best-selling author Gaylin and co-author Jennings investigate the contentious intersections of interdependence and autonomy, rights and public responsibility. They examine the painful abrasion occurring between America's tradition of personal freedom and privacy, as it rubs against the still valuable if almost vanishing ideals of sacrifice and social order.

Our current culture of autonomy—championed by both liberals on the left and libertarians on the right—is based on the idea of rationality as the motivation for human conduct. But, as the authors remind us, people are not simply rational creatures—appeals to emotions are always far more effective than logical argument in changing our behavior.

This timely edition includes a new preface; updated examples and illustrations throughout; and new coverage of contemporary social critics and their work since the publication of the first edition. Two essential new chapters, one on the movement to forgo life-sustaining treatment and the other on physician-assisted suicide, particularly clarify the authors' arguments. Drawing on these and numerous other illustrations—with significant emphasis on the state of American health care—Gaylin and Jennings demonstrate that society has not just the right but the duty to occasionally invoke fear, shame, and guilt in order to motivate humane behavior.

As cases of AIDS are once again on the upswing, as the dangerously mentally ill are allowed to wander free and untreated, as starvation and poverty still hold too many in its grip in the richest nation on the planet, this controversial book, considerably revised and expanded, is needed more than ever. If we are to indeed preserve and nurture a genuinely free—and liberal—society, the authors suggest that these "coercions" may be essential for the health and the maturity of a nation where we all too often avert our eyes, not seeing that our neighbor is in pain or trouble and needs our help.

About the Authors

Willard Gaylin, MD, is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He cofounded The Hastings Center in 1969 and is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Institute of Medicine.

Bruce Jennings
is a senior research scholar at The Hastings Center, and also teaches at the Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. Trained as a political scientist, Jennings has written and lectured widely on social, educational, and public policy issues.
Georgetown University Press
Revised and Expanded Edition

9780878409068 : the-perversion-of-autonomy-2nd-edition-gaylin-jennings
Paperback / softback
304 Pages
$29.95 USD

Other Titles by Bruce Jennings

Frog Pond Philosophy

Strachan Donnelley, edited by Ceara Donnelley, Bruce Jennings, foreword by Frederick L. Kirschenmann
Nov 2018 - University Press of Kentucky
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The Ethics of Hospital Trustees

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Jun 2004 - Georgetown University Press
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Coerced Contraception?

edited by Ellen H. Moskowitz, Bruce Jennings
Nov 2001 - Georgetown University Press
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