Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal

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Authenticity has become a widespread ethical ideal. It represents a way of dealing with normative gaps in this age. It suggests that one should be true to oneself and lead a life expressive of what one takes oneself to be. However, many contemporary thinkers have pointed out that the ideal of authenticity has increasingly turned into aestheticism and egoistic self-indulgence. In his book, Varga’s systematic, detailed attempt to construct a critical concept of authenticity takes into account the reciprocal shaping of capitalism and the ideal of authenticity. Drawing on different traditions in critical social theory, moral philosophy and phenomenology, Varga constructs a concept of authenticity that can make problematic practices of self-aestheticism and atomist self-indulgence intelligible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal is [Somogy Varga's] first full-length monograph, and it presents us with a scholar who has an extensive knowledge of many areas of moral psychology as well as a solid grasp of the methods of ideology critique. The book engages important issues, addresses them in an intelligent way, and argues effectively for some innovative views." – Charles Guignon, University of South Florida, USA in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Somogy Varga is a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen. He is also a Postdoc at the Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabruck, Germany.
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Table of Contents

I. Authenticity: Historical Sources and Theoretical Underpinnings 1. The Sources of Authenticity 2. Authenticity, Social Philosophy and Social Pathologies 3. The Inevitability Thesis II. Towards a Formal Concept of Authenticity 4. Models of Authenticity 5. Authenticity as Authentication and Responsiveness III. The Paradox of Authenticity 6. The Paradox of Authenticity

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