On Being Authentic

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Routledge, Aug 2, 2004 - Philosophy - 208 pages
2 Reviews
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'To thine own self be true.' From Polonius's words in Hamlet right up to Oprah, we are constantly urged to look within. Why is being authentic the ultimate aim in life for so many people, and why does it mean looking inside rather than out? Is it about finding the 'real' me, or something greater than me, even God? And should we welcome what we find?

Thought-provoking and with an astonishing range of references, On Being Authentic is a gripping journey into the self that begins with Socrates and Augustine. Charles Guignon asks why being authentic ceased to mean being part of some bigger, cosmic picture and with Rousseau, Wordsworth and the Romantic movement, took the strong inward turn alive in today's self-help culture.

He also plumbs the darker depths of authenticity, with the help of Freud, Joseph Conrad and Alice Miller and reflects on the future of being authentic in a postmodern, global age. He argues ultimately that if we are to rescue the ideal of being authentic, we have to see ourselves as fundamentally social creatures, embedded in relationships and communities, and that being authentic is not about what is owed to me but how I depend on others.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - giovannigf - LibraryThing

I'm not opposed to an intelligent argument against the concept of authenticity, but Guignon stacks the deck so blatantly that he ends up undermining himself. Right off the bat he defines authenticity ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - giovannigf - LibraryThing

I'm not opposed to an intelligent argument against the concept of authenticity, but Guignon stacks the deck so blatantly that he ends up undermining himself. Right off the bat, he defines authenticity ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
One The Culture of Authenticity
Two The Enchanted Garden
Three The Modern Worldview
Four Romanticism and the Ideal of Authenticity
Five The Heart of Darkness
Six Decentering the Subject
Seven StoryShaped Selves
Eight Authenticity in Context
Notes
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Charles Guignon teaches philosophy at the University of South Florida. He is the author of Heidegger and the Problem of Knowledge and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger.

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