Considerations on Alessandro ferrara’s reflective authenticity

Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (1):11-15 (2004)
Abstract
Among the various attempts that have been undertaken today to reformulate critically the idea of European modernism, Alessandro Ferrara’s book certainly represents one of the most radical. In contrast to other approaches, which rather depart from a competition of various sources of ideas, Ferrara sets forth a single principle that should be able to provide us with an appropriate and future-regarding self-under-standing of the intellectual situation of present modernity. Its key concept is authenticity that, in opposition to all other principles of validity so far, possesses a priority since it brings most clearly to expression ‘who we actually want to be’ (p. 162ff.). Before I briefly discuss a few questions that are connected with this thesis, I want first to try to understand the claims underpinning the project as a whole. Only then will I thereby be in a position to lay out those points of view that place doubt upon on the whole project.
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