John Christman
The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-historical Selves
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009
Reviewed by Diana Tietjens Meyers, 2012

Hypatia 27.1 (2012): 227-230
Available to Hypatia subscribers from Wiley-Blackwell:

Diana Tietjens Meyers is Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Social Ethics and a professor of philosophy at Loyola University, Chicago.  In Spring 2003, she was the Laurie Chair in Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University.  She works in three main areas of philosophy: philosophy of action, feminist ethics, and human rights theory.  Her monographs are Inalienable Rights: A Defense (1985), Self, Society, and Personal Choice (1989), Subjection and Subjectivity: Psychoanalytic Feminism and Moral Philosophy (1994), and Gender in the Mirror: Cultural Imagery and Women's Agency (2002).  Being Yourself: Essays on Identity, Action and Social Life is a collection of her (mostly) previously published essays (2004).  She has edited seven collections and one previous journal issue and published many journal articles and chapters in books.  She is currently writing on three topics; victims' stories and human rights, art and politics, and psychocorporeal identity and agency. (

Christman undertakes to solve two philosophical problems with one theory of autonomy. The Politics of Persons accents the interface between citizen autonomy and politics while also attending to the value of autonomy as it plays out in individuals' lives.