2018 | 10 | 30 | 99-111
Article title

Sovereignty and Autonomy of the Moral Subject

Title variants
Languages of publication
Research objective: The following article aims at clarifying the relation between the notion of autonomy of the moral subject and its sovereignty. The research problem and methodology: The notions of sovereignty and autonomy attributed to the moral subject seem to be used as synonyms. Yet in the political theory the two terms seem to have slightly different meaning. Is it justified to use these notions related to the moral subject as synonyms or should they rather be distinguished? Using the descriptive-analytic and comparative method the author examines the chosen sources considered as most important reference points for the matter. The process of argumentation: The article begins with the presentation of the conception of autonomy formulated by I. Kant as the most influential for the whole modernity. This conception can have a “moral realist” and “creative anti-realist” interpretation. Afterwards it presents the contemporary interpretation of autonomy by Kristine M. Korsgaard representing the “creative anti-realist” view. This creative anti-realist interpretation is confronted with its two critiques by John E. Hare and Charles Larmore. Research results: The result of the discussion in the article is the proposition to name the modern radical creative anti-realist interpretation of autonomy the sovereignty of the moral subject and thus distinguish between the notion of sovereignty and autonomy. Conclusions, innovations and recommendations: This view of autonomy is connected with the naturalistic world view which by many modern philosophers is accepted without further questioning, whereas it is not the only possible position. We should keep questioning the so called “metaphysics of the modern world” and formulate an alternative which gives a more adequate place to the moral reasons in the world.
Physical description
  • autonomy, (2011), American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition, Retrieved June 21st 2018 from
  • Bodin, J., (1955), Six Books of the Commonwealth, trans. M. J. Tooley, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Retrieved June 21st 2018 from: Original work published in 1576.
  • Hare, J. E., (2009), God's Call, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
  • Kant, I., (2002), Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. A. W. Wood, New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Kant, I., (2015), Critique of Practical Reason, trans. M. Gregor, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Korsgaard, Ch., M., (1996), The Sources of Normativity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Larmore, Ch., (2008), The Autonomy of Morality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • MacIntyre, A., (2007), After Virtue, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Mele, A., F., (2005), “Agnostic Autonomism Revisited,” in Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and Its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy, ed. James Stacey Taylor, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Nietzsche, F., (2007), On the Genealogy of Morality, trans. Carol Diethe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Work originally published in 1887.
  • Sovereignty, (2011), American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved June 21st 2018 from
  • Sovereignty, (2014), Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition, Retrieved June 21st 2018 from
  • Taylor, Ch., (2011), What does Secularism Mean?, [in:] Dilemmas and Connections, Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, pp. 301-325.
  • Turchetti, M., (2017), "Jean Bodin", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Retrieved June 21st 2018 from:
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.