Work on Oneself: Rethinking Authenticity

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

University of Paderborn, Germany

Abstract

This article addresses the concept of authenticity, a characteristic of late modern Western culture. This characteristic is viewed by some as an ideal and by others as a root of the problems inherent within Western culture. After discussing various viewpoints, the author supports the idea that authenticity should not be totally accepted or rejected and sets forth a proposal based on the so-called “negative ethics” or “skeptical ethics”.

Keywords


References

Bloom, Allan. 1988. The closing of the American mind. New York et. al.: Simon and Schuster.
Busch, Wilhelm. 1974. Die fromme Helene. Zürich: Diogenes.
Gordon, Eli. 2008. “The Place of the Sacred in the Absence of God: Charles Taylor’s ‘A Secular Age.’” Journal of the History of Ideas 69: 647–73.
Gregory. 1978. The Life of Moses. New York: Paulist Press.
Guignon, Charles B. 2004. On Being Authentic. London, New York: Routledge.
Herdt, Jennifer A. 2014. “The Authentic Individual in the Network of Agape.” In Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor, edited by Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen, 191–216. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame.
Jaeggi, Rahel. 2014. Kritik von Lebensformen. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Kobusch, Theo. 2008. “Die Würde des Menschen – ein Erbe der christlichen Philosophie.” In Des Menschen Würde: Entdeckt und erfunden im Humanismus der italienischen Renaissance, edited by Rolf Gröschner, Stephan Kirste, and Oliver Lembcke, 235–50. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
Kreutzer, Ansgar. 2016. Authentizität – Modewort, Leitbild, Konzept: Theologische und humanwissenschaftliche Erkundungen zu einer schillernden Kategorie. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet.
Lasch, Christopher. 1979. The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. New York: Norton.
Legenhausen, Hajj Muhammad. n.d. Review: The Ethics of Authenticity by Charles Taylor (Manuscript). Accessed March 3, 2018.  http://www.academia.edu/2522794/Review_of_Charles_Taylor_The_Ethics_of_Authenticity.
Menke, Christoph. 2011. “Was ist eine ,Ethik der Authentizität’?” In Unerfüllte Moderne?: Neue Perspektiven auf das Werk von Charles Taylor, edited by Michael Kühnlein, 217–38. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Nicholas of Cusa. 2001. “De Beryollo.” In Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises of Nicholas of Cusa, vol 2, edited by Nicolaus and Jasper Hopkins, 789–839. Minneapolis: Banning Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1988. Nachlaß 1880 – 1882: Kritische Studienausgabe, Bd. 9. München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag.
———. 2001. The Gay Science: With a Prelude in German Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs. Cambridge, U.K., New York: Cambridge University Press.
———. 2002. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Edited by Rolf-Peter Horstmann and Judith Norman. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
———. 2006. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. Edited by Adrian Del Caro and Robert B. Pippin. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Origen. 2002. Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press.
Ottmann, Henning. 2005. Negative Ethik. Berlin: Parerga.
———, ed. 2014. Gelassenheit – und andere Versuche zur negativen Ethik. Berlin: Lit.
Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. 2012. Oration on the Dignity of Man: A New Translation and Commentary. Edited by Francesco Borghesi, Michael Papio, and Massimo Riva.New York: Cambridge University Press.
Schmidt, Jochen. 2011. Klage: Überlegungen zur Linderung reflexiven Leidens. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
———. 2014. “Critical Virtue Ethics.” Religious Inquiries 3: 35–47.
———. 2015. Selbstbekenntniskompetenz als interreligiöse Schlüsselkompetenz unveröff. Manuskript. Osnabrück.
Schweppenhäuser, Gerhard. 1993. Ethik nach Auschwitz: Adornos negative Moralphilosophie. Hamburg: Argument-Verl.
Taylor, Charles. 1989. Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
———. 2003. The Malaise of Modernity. Concord, Ont.: Anansi.
———. 2007. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Trilling, Lionel. 1972. Sincerity and Authenticity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tugendhat, Ernst. 1979. Selbstbewusstsein und Selbstbestimmung: Sprachanalytische Interpretationen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Varga, Somogy, and Charles Guignon. 2016. “Authenticity.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Summer 2016 edition.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1980. Culture and Value. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
———. 1990. Tractatus logico-philosophicus. London, New York: Routledge.