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ERIC Number: ED346959
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Meaning of Autonomy in Psychological Theory.
Davidson, Philip M.
The concept of autonomous identity, derived from Piaget's theory of personality, is distinguished from other applications of the term "autonomy" in psychological theory. Introductory comments suggest that both biological and mental development express autonomy in the same two senses: as self-regulating and progressively self-liberating. The next sections focus on various perceptions of the nature of knowledge and moral judgment. The conceptions of autonomy of Erikson, Kohlberg, Loevinger, Peck and Havighurst, and Jung are contrasted with those of Piaget. In the model at issue in this paper, knowledge is perceived as an autonomous activity and autonomous moral choice is deemed to be both possible and desirable. Autonomy is related to intrinsic properties of biological functioning, on one hand, and to identification with universal forms of human experience on the other. The possible integration between the psychology of religious development and that of identity formation is discussed. It is concluded that the autonomous identity reached by separate persons is, in fact, the same identity, and consequently, the only moral distinction between individuals resides in their degree of cognizance of this mutual identity. (AC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A