Definition of heteronomous in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌhedəˈränəməs/


1Subject to a law or standard external to itself.
Example sentences
  • Conversely the more heteronomous they are in their literary practices, the more inclined they are to collaborate.
  • Bourdieu defines a contrast between autonomous artists, who create for themselves and for others sharing their esoteric tastes, and heteronomous artists, who seek wealth by creating to meet the approval of the consumer field.
  • For Bauer, socialism was irredeemably heteronomous.
1.1(In Kantian moral philosophy) acting in accordance with one’s desires rather than reason or moral duty. Compare with autonomous.
Example sentences
  • Being free but not autonomous is a condition Kant called heteronomous.
  • This is an agent who is able to overcome the promptings of all heteronomous counsels, such as those of self-interest and desire, should they be in conflict with reason.
  • But it is hard to see how such a claim could be supported in Kantian ethics, given its rejection of heteronomous (subjective, interest-based) foundations and its commitment to there being substantive moral questions about ends.
1.2Subject to different laws.
Example sentences
  • Wings heteronomous (anterior pair larger, with venation, and setae longer); tips broadly rounded; venation with two longitudinal and five oblique veins.



Pronunciation: /ˌhedəˈränəmē/
Example sentences
  • Understood in this way, artistic consciousness tends to be inherently opposed to, resistant to and subversive of the heteronomy that underscores the commodified social relations of capitalist society.
  • Its opposite is not dependence, but heteronomy, where we feel our actions are controlled by external forces, regardless of our own values and interests.
  • But focusing on these cases reinforces a sense of our passivity as agents: what Kant meant, I believe, by a heteronomy of the will.

Words that rhyme with heteronomous

autonomous, bonhomous

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: het·er·on·o·mous

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