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Autonomy One of the Basic and Universal Psychological Needs

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Most individuals seek in their lives throughout the aspect of personal freedom or independence. There are certain individuals that actually need the help of others in order to achieve these features however, others are already possessed the capability with autonomous thoughts and reflect it in their behavior. According to Deci & Ryan (2009), autonomy is one of the basic and universal psychological needs that is essential for the well-being and flourishing of all people. The development of autonomy comes in different forms for all individuals.

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Individual autonomy is a kind of notion which is generally understood through referring it as the capability of a person to decide for her or himself, to live one’s life according to some reasons and motives which are taken as one’s own and not the product of manipulative or distorting external forces. 

Autonomy has a vital part in the Kantian tradition of moral philosophy and hence, in the version of John Stuart Mill for utilitarian liberalism, autonomy was actually given some fundamental status (Kant, 1983 & Mill, 1975). There are certain instances that the concept of autonomy has been in debates over education policy, biomedical ethics, various legal freedoms and rights such as freedom of speech and the right to privacy, as well as moral and political theory more broadly (Hill 1989).

Majority of people would agree that autonomy is normatively important. It is reflected throughout the presence of wide consent that autonomy actually deserves respect, and in the popular practice of arguing for some institutions of public policy which is based on the value of self-determination. 

Moreover, many believe that the development of autonomy is very essential on some accounts and some part of living a good life. Even though the claim about the importance of autonomy is somewhat convincing, it is not that obvious why this autonomy has this significance. 

In order to answer this question with enough information, it is quite apparent that it needs a more detailed and thorough understanding of what autonomy is. This paper is focused on seeking the normative importance of autonomy as it is understood in various ways. Also, special attention will be paid on how autonomy has been employed in a wide range of philosophical issues and to address some justification of the principle of respect for autonomous choice.

Within the western convention, the view that individual independence is a basic moral and political value is much a modern improvement and development. Autonomy is very much at the vortex of the complex reconsideration of modernity (Lindley, 1986). Putting it to more simple view, to be autonomous or independent is to be one’s claim as individual, to be coordinated by such contemplations, wants, conditions, and characteristics that are not basically forced upon one, but are portion of what can some way or another be considered one’s authentic self. 

In this sense, autonomy seems a certain value especially since it is opposite wherein it is being guided by forces external to the self and which one cannot truly embrace. In the realm of moral theory, seeing autonomy as a central value can be contrasted with alternative frameworks such an ethic of care, utilitarianism of some kinds, and an ethic of virtue (Schneewind, 1988).  

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