from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The political subjection of a community to the rule of another power or to an external law.
  • n. The state of being beholden to external influences.
  • n. The condition of being heteronomous

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Subordination or subjection to the law of another; political subjection of a community or state; -- opposed to autonomy.
  • n. A term applied by Kant to those laws which are imposed on us from without, or the violence done to us by our passions, wants, or desires.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Subordination or subjection to a law imposed by another or from without: opposed to autonomy.
  • n. Specifically, in the Kantian ethics, subjection of the will to the control of the natural appetites, passions, and desires, instead of to the moral law of reason.
  • n. In biology, the state of divergent modification in parts that exhibit general homology or homonomy.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In philosophy, the term (with its antithesis "heteronomy") was applied by

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"

  • In the Groundwork Kant contrasts an ethics of autonomy, in which the will (Wille, or practical reason itself) is the basis of its own law, from the ethics of heteronomy, in which something independent of the will such as happiness is the basis of moral law (4: 440-41).

    Kant's Social and Political Philosophy

  • Autonomy and heteronomy are a matter of dynamic degree.

    Kant's Philosophical Development

  • The problem here is what psychologist of religon Gordon Allport called that of "heteronomy."

    True confessions, and confession

  • The tendency to such passivity, and therefore to heteronomy of the reason, is called prejudice....

    Archive 2005-01-01

  • However grounded, liberalism depended on subjectivizing reason and objective moral principles; subjects are proclaimed “autonomous” all the while they sink into the heteronomy of market relations.

    Critical Theory

  • Bauer's ethical idealism resembles what Kant calls perfectionism, or Vollkommenheit, a form of rational heteronomy, one of whose meanings is that action is validated by its contribution to historical progress.

    Bruno Bauer

  • Beauty serves as the “symbol” of morality (§59, passim), in that a judgment of beauty “legislates for itself” rather than being “subjected to a heteronomy of laws of experience” (§59, 353); relatedly, feelings of pleasure in the beautiful are analogous to moral consciousness

    Kant's Aesthetics and Teleology

  • In every case where an object of the will has to be supposed, in order that the rule may be prescribed which is to determine the will, there the rule is simply heteronomy; the imperative is conditional, namely, if or because one wishes for this object, one should act so and so: hence it can never command morally, that is, categorically.

    The Afghan Tragedy

  • Not only so, but it is inevitably only heteronomy; the will does not give itself the law, but is given by a foreign impulse by means of a particular natural constitution of the subject adapted to receive it.

    The Afghan Tragedy


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  • I see clearly how it's gonna be:

    While Donald's a mastermind wannabe

    There's more that's astute in

    Sly Vladimir Putin.

    Prepare for a harsh heteronomy.

    January 29, 2017