Without question, the majority of contemporary work on autonomy has centered on analyses of the nature and normativity of personal autonomy. Personal autonomy (also referred to as ‘individual autonomy’) refers to a psychological property, the possession of which enables agents to reflect critically on their natures, preferences and ends, to locate their most authentic commitments, and to live consistently in accordance with these in the face of various forms of internal and external interference. Personally autonomous agents are said to possess heightened capacities for self-control, introspection, independence of judgment, and critical reflection; and to this extent personal autonomy is often put forth as an ideal of character or a virtue, the opposite of which is blind conformity, or not ‘being one’s own person.’
History acts as an essential guide for a student of law, and the Nuremberg Trials showed us an actual tussle between the different ideologies of law. Applied the Hague Convention of 1905, Geneva Convention of 1927 with regard to the trial of Nazi personnel after the Second World War; however the said convention did not provided for any penalties. Therefore there came into invention the category of “crimes against humanity” which would be used to. Churchill argued for summary executions, on positivist grounds. Twelve prominent Nazis were sentenced to death. Most of the defendants admitted to the crimes of which they were accused, although most claimed that they were simply following the orders of a higher authority. In this instance, it may be argued that Nazi law was being followed because it was ‘the law', an elected parliament had amended and/or repealed parts of the constitution in such a manner, and had adhered to such policies, that the citizens had no other option but to follow them. On the other hand it can be so argued that Nazi laws were void because they lacked the inner morality being so evil and vexatious in nature.
The issue that vexed Kant was central to what 20th-century scholars called "the philosophy of mind ". The flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight falling on an object is reflected from its surface in a way that maps the surface features (color, texture, etc.). The reflected light reaches the human eye, passes through the cornea, is focused by the lens onto the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura . The retinal cells send impulses through the optic nerve and then they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the object. The interior mapping is not the exterior object, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the uncertainty aroused by these considerations, by optical illusions, misperceptions, delusions, etc., are not the end of the problems.