Autonomy and Liberty: An Ethical Focus on Human Consent

Autonomy and Liberty: An Ethical Focus on Human Consent
Jenia Kakchingtabam
International Journal of Arts Humanities & Social Sciences, 8 October 2022
This paper aims to examine the problematic relation between autonomy and liberty from the ethical aspect of human consent. The term consent is derived from the Latin conjunction where “con” mean ‘together’ with “sentire” meaning to ‘feel’, ‘think’ or ‘judge’. We feel safe and secure when we participate in the collective life consensually. This idea of protection is provided by the liberal tradition thereby bringing a new complex form of human relation on the basis of consent and informed life. In fact, this new complex relation claims to provide us the benefit of protection from harms and constraints. Autonomy, on the other, indicates self-ruling capacities of a person to make certain plans or goals wherein the significance of consent protects from external wrongful coercion. And, here the question is, how can we discover the significance of autonomous consent of an individual within the sphere of liberty? This paper discusses the ethical issue of consent that seems to be interwoven in the concept of liberty and autonomy in three different sections. The first section examines the question that how and why consent occupies an important place in the social and the political relations of human beings? Further, the second section argues that the meaning of consent is not implied only in the sphere of social and political relation. Consent expresses a person’s sensitivity and experiences by allowing others to perceive the importance of human autonomy across the different areas of life. And, the third section addresses the crucial ethical crux of consent from the aspect of care and concern.

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