Download e-book for iPad: Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal by Somogy Varga

By Somogy Varga

Authenticity has develop into a frequent moral perfect that represents a fashion of facing normative gaps in modern lifestyles. This perfect means that one can be precise to oneself and lead a existence expressive of what one takes oneself to be. although, many modern thinkers have mentioned that definitely the right of authenticity has more and more become one of those aestheticism and egoistic self-indulgence. In his ebook, Varga systematically constructs a severe proposal of authenticity that takes under consideration the reciprocal shaping of capitalism and the correct of authenticity. Drawing on diversified traditions in serious social concept, ethical philosophy and phenomenology, Varga builds an idea of authenticity which can make intelligible numerous frustrating and very likely laborious practices of the self.

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Recent books like Alexander Nehamas’s Virtues of Authenticity and Geoffrey Hartman’s Scars of the Spirit: The Struggle against Inauthenticity are indications that the ideal remains strong and that the subject of authenticity is recognized as a valuable object of study. The material referred to in this chapter unmistakably shows the emergence of authenticity as a reigning value in Western societies. As Martin Jay (2004) notes, in a time when relativism appears difficult to surmount, authenticity has become a last measure of value.

But that capacity is precisely the character trait that is needed in order to be an effective member of a democratic society (Guignon 2008: 288). In this case it is quite straightforward to maintain that any democratic society should be committed to securing the possibility for the kind of practical reflection that is at the core of the practice of authenticity. Similar to Taylor’s approach, in Refl ective Authenticity Alessandro Ferrara sets out to defend authenticity as an ideal, but in contrast to Taylor he is interested in the social and philosophical aspects of the relation between authenticity and validity.

While Foucault emphasized that regarding the ethical concern about one’s own existence only aesthetic values should be applied, he continuously refused to provide a more comprehensive description of what stylization amounts to. Instead, he contended that to the absence of universal laws and morality “corresponds, must correspond, the search for aesthetics of existence” (Foucault 1988: 49). The recognition that there is no authentic given self leads him to the practical consequence that “we must create ourselves as a work of art” (Foucault 2000).

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Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal by Somogy Varga


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