Autonomy and Trust

Project leader: Prof. Holmer Steinfath, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities
Research Fellow: Anne-Marie Pindur



Up to the present day the concept and the value of individual autonomy are the focus of a broad variety of diverging philosophical interpretations. The accounts of autonomy which have been predominant in the liberal tradition are confronted with the critique of implying an overly individualistic and hyper-intellectualistic model of human subjects. For this reason they do not seem to be appropriate to do justice to the particular difficulties and possibilities of autonomy in the context of health care. This challenge to provide an adequate account of autonomy is encountered by a close scrutiny of the relation of autonomy and trust. Although the approach is a general one, careful attention is paid to the special questions and problems of the health care context. The pursued analysis of the relation of autonomy and trust is meant to allow for a new perspective on autonomy that is not flawed in the way described. Autonomy as understood here is a complex practical capacity of persons which may deserve specific legal protection.