Determining Oneself and Determining One’s Self

On April 29th, Thomas Schramme will workshop his paper “Determining Oneself and Determining One’s Self.”  The paper will be distributed in advance, and we will use the full time for discussion. Professor Schramme is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Hamburg. Please join us in the Kendrick Room at the Freedom Center for Professor Schramme’s workshop!

In this essay, I exploit an ambiguity in the concept of self­-determination. Self­determination can mean to determine oneself in choices and actions or to determine one’s self. The second kind of self-determination leads to our capacity to imagine alternative selves of ourselves, which are to be actualized. This creates the basis for a normative conception of self­determination, i.e. a conception that incorporates the aspect of a right or good way to determine oneself. I defend this normative interpretation of self­-determination, which is illustrated by reference to three theorists: Harry Frankfurt, Thomas Hill Green and John Stuart Mill.