Authenticity of cultures and of persons

Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (4-5):445-455 (2012)
In this article I argue that it does not make sense – either empirically or normatively – to speak of ‘authentic’ cultures. All we need when talking about cultures is a relatively weak concept that still carries enough normative weight to function as the meaningful background of a person’s identity, autonomy and good life. Discussing the authentic culture, I refer to the debates around the German Leitkultur as well as the Dutch populist movement as examples. However, I am interested not only in the concept of the authenticity of a culture but also in the concept of the authenticity of persons: if an ‘authentic culture’ is not feasible, does this have repercussions on the concept of the autonomy and authenticity of persons? In suggesting that this might be the case, I argue that persons can be autonomous without always being fully authentic
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DOI 10.1177/0191453711435642
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Neil Levy (2011). Enhancing Authenticity. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (3):308-318.
Marina Oshana (2007). Autonomy and the Question of Authenticity. Social Theory and Practice 33 (3):411-429.

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