•  52
    Part III. Section 3. Autonomy and Feminine Socialization: Having agreed with Beauvoir that narcissism and altruism contribute to women's lack of autonomy, Meyers examines Beauvoir's account of autonomy in light of her own conception of autonomy competency and argues that Beauvoir's conception of autonomy is too stringent. Autonomy competency, in contrast, allows for degrees of autonomy and variations in degree as viewed over a life-time, as well as for a distinction between programmatic and epis…Read more
  •  51
    Part III. Section 1. Theories of Socialization. Autonomy as autonomy competency acknowledges the necessity of socialization for autonomy. Preliminary to considering this claim in relation to gender, Meyers sketches three social scientific models of socialization - psychoanalysis, social learning, and cognitive development.
  •  48
    Part II. Section 5. Interests, Self-Interest and Autonomy: Two questions drive this chapter: 1) What kinds of things can be objects of autonomous choices? and 2) How are these related to an individual's authentic self? If self-interest is construed as securing a set of basic goods for oneself, personal autonomy and self-interest can collide. Still, Meyers holds that autonomy based on exercising autonomy competency is compatible with the dominance principle, which counsels opting for a course of …Read more
  •  46
    Part III. Section 2. Feminine and Masculine Socialization: Two main problems are explored: 1) How are girls and boys socialized in contemporary western societies? and 2) What are adult women and men like? Meyers appropriates the main outlines of Simone de Beauvoir's account of feminine socialization in The Second Sex, but she also discusses more recent research.
  •  42
    Recent liberal moral and political philosophy has placed great emphasis on the good of self-respect. But it is not always evident what is involved in self-respect, nor is it evident how societies can promote it. Assuming that self-respect is highly desirable, I begin by considering how people can live in a self-respecting fashion, and I argue that autonomous envisaging and fulfillment of one's own life plans is necessary for self-respect. I next turn to the question of how societal implementatio…Read more
  •  42
    This paper considers two accounts of the self that have gained prominence in contemporary feminist psychoanalytic theory and draws out the implications of these views with respect to the problem of moral reflection. I argue that our account of moral reflection will be impoverished unless it mobilizes the capacity to empathize with others and the rhetoric of figurative language. To make my case for this claim, I argue that John Rawls's account of reflective equilibrium suffers from his exclusive …Read more
  •  40
    The cultural imagery of women is deeply ingrained in our consciousness. So deeply, in fact, that feminists see this as a fundamental threat to female autonomy because it enshrines procreative heterosexuality as well as the relations of domination and subordination between men and women. Diana Meyers' book is about this cultural imagery - and how, once it is internalized, it shapes perception, reflection, judgement, and desire. These intergral images have a deep impact not only on the individual …Read more
  •  38
    A collection of some of my previously published papers with an introduction and a new chapter.
  •  37
    Inalienable Rights: A Defense
    Philosophical Review 96 (2): 304-306. 1987.
  •  37
    A response to Susan Hekman's article "Reconstituting the Subject: Feminism, Modernism, and Postmodernism" and to her review of Diana T. Meyers' book Self, Society, and Personal Choice both of which appeared in Hypatia 6
  •  36
    Rights-based rights
    Law and Philosophy 3 (3). 1984.
    Ronald Dworkin maintains that particular rights, like the right to free speech and the right to own personal property, can be derived from a foundational right, the right to equal concern and respect. This paper questions the tenability of this program for rights-based rights. A right is an individuated moral or political guarantee which confers a specified benefit on each right-holder and which resists conduct that would derogate it. For there to be rights-based rights, both the foundational ri…Read more
  •  34
    Part III. Section 5. Autonomy-Enhancing Socialization: Meyers seeks a remedy for gendered inequality with respect to autonomy in processes of socialization. After critically examining proposals offered by Beauvoir, Chodorow, and Radcliffe Richards, Meyers describes a pedagogical model that fosters assertiveness and intimacy while avoiding the inculcation of aggression and that actively nurtures the development of autonomy skills.
  •  30
    Part III. Section 4. Full Autonomy - An Attainable Ideal: Maximal or full autonomy is an unrealistic goal for all people. Contrary to a common assumption, however, masculine socialization does not generally result in full autonomy, but rather in medial autonomy. Conformism is as much of an obstacle to the full autonomy of men as it is for women. Still, men in western cultures are more likely to be more autonomous than women, and this discrepancy calls for change.
  •  28
    Mother Time: Women, Aging, and Ethics (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2000.
    Fifteen original essays open up a novel area of inquiry: the distinctively ethical dimensions of women's experiences of and in aging. Contributors distinguished in the fields of feminist ethics and the ethics of aging explore assumptions, experiences, practices, and public policies that affect women's well-being and dignity in later life. The book brings to the study of women's aging a reflective dimension missing from the empirical work that has predominated to date. Ethical studies of aging ha…Read more
  •  27
    Feminists Rethink the Self
    Philosophical Review 108 (1): 110. 1999.
    The idea that the self is in need of rethinking, as the title to this collection of essays suggests, presupposes that the self has already been “thought.” And indeed it has—both explicitly, by philosophers, and implicitly, in the practices of everyday life. For philosophers, this thinking about the self has taken place largely in abstract terms; persons have been treated as metaphysical-cum-moral subjects, disembodied minds that could plausibly be split from or melded with other such minds, or a…Read more
  •  26
    Moral Principles and Political Obligations
    Philosophical Review 90 (3): 472. 1981.
  •  26
    Part II. Section 6. Responsibility for Self: Meyers criticizes Derek Parfit's arguments against the rationality of temporal neutrality -- in other words, the principle of responsibility to self. She urges that autonomy requires providing for one's future.
  •  20
    The Rationale for Inalienable Rights in Moral Systems
    Social Theory and Practice 7 (2): 127-143. 1981.
  •  19
    Because it is characteristic of competencies that they have overarching functions, Meyers considers what the overarching function of autonomy competency might be. She defends a view of personal integration that does not entail counterproductive consistency or unity. She rejects several other solutions to this problem, including compartmentalization, sanity, happiness, and eccentric nonconformity.
  •  18
    Commentary on Entangled Empathy by Lori Gruen
    Hypatia 32 (2): 415-427. 2017.
    This essay explores four aspects of Gruen's theory. The first section considers her analysis of the concepts of sympathy, pity, and emotional contagion. The second section outlines the main features of her conception of empathy and highlights some worries about empathy that her theory addresses. The third section examines empathy's contributions to moral epistemology. The fourth section queries Gruen's contention that empathy is morally motivating.