Cass Sunstein Reviews “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism”

In Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism, author Sara Conly rejects the concept of autonomy as absolute. Specifically, in light of recent behavior studies and social psychology, Conly rejects John Stuart Mill’s confidence in individuals as the most capable decision makers.  As a result, Conly writes that coercion in the form of government mandates and bans is an acceptable means of achieving public health.  According to Cass Sunstein’s review of the book, Conly’s argument is convincing, and emphasizing autonomy may be inappropriate when individuals continue to impose serious risks on themselves while ignoring the consequences of their actions.  Read more about Sunstein’s review here.

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