There is concern that the use of neuroenhancements to alter character traits undermines consumer's authenticity. But the meaning, scope and value of authenticity remain vague. However, the majority of contemporary autonomy accounts ground individual autonomy on a notion of authenticity. So if neuroenhancements diminish an agent's authenticity, they may undermine his autonomy. This paper clarifies the relation between autonomy, authenticity and possible threats by neuroenhancements. We present six neuroenhancement scenarios and analyse how autonomy accounts evaluate (...) them. Some cases are considered differently by criminal courts; we demonstrate where academic autonomy theories and legal reasoning diverge and ascertain whether courts should reconsider their concept of autonomy. We argue that authenticity is not an appropriate condition for autonomy and that new enhancement technologies pose no unique threats to personal autonomy. (shrink)
This article will examine how the notion of emotional authenticity is intertwined with the notions of naturalness and artificiality in the context of the recent debates about ‘neuro-enhancement’ and ‘neuro-psychopharmacology.’ In the philosophy of mind, the concept of authenticity plays a key role in the discussion of the emotions. There is a widely held intuition that an artificial means will always lead to an inauthentic result. This article, however, proposes that artificial substances do not necessarily result in inauthentic (...) emotions. The literature provided by the philosophy of mind on this subject usually resorts to thought experiments. On the other hand, the recent literature in applied ethics on ‘enhancement’ provides good reasons to include real world examples. Such case studies reveal that some psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants actually cause people to undergo experiences of authenticity, making them feel ‘like themselves’ for the first time in their lives. Beginning with these accounts, this article suggests three non-naturalist standards for emotions: the authenticity standard, the rationality standard, and the coherence standard. It argues that the authenticity standard is not always the only valid one, but that the other two ways of assessing emotions are also valid, and that they can even have repercussions on the felt authenticity of emotions. In conclusion, it sketches some of the normative implications if not ethical intricacies that accompany the enhancement of emotions. (shrink)
In Heidegger’s Being and Time certain concepts are discussed which are central to the ontological constitution of Dasein. This paper demonstrates the interesting manner in which some of these concepts can be used in a reading of T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. A comparative analysis is performed, explicating the relevant Heideggerian terms and then relating them to Eliot’s poem. In this way strong parallels are revealed between the two men’s respective thoughts and distinct modernist sensibilities. Prufrock, (...) the protagonist of the poem, and the world he inhabits illustrate poetically concepts such as authenticity, inauthenticity, the ‘they’, idle talk and angst, which Heidegger develops in Being and Time. (shrink)
We argue that the value of authenticity does not explain the value of self-knowledge. There are a plurality of species of authenticity; in this paper we consider four species: avoiding pretense (section 2), Frankfurtian wholeheartedness (section 3), existential self-knowledge (section 4), and spontaneity (section 5). Our thesis is that, for each of these species, the value of (that species of) authenticity does not (partially) explain the value of self-knowledge. Moreover, when it comes to spontaneity, the value of (...) (that species of) authenticity conflicts with the value of self-knowledge. (shrink)
This thesis explores, thematically and chronologically, the substantial concordance between the work of Martin Heidegger and T.S. Eliot. The introduction traces Eliot's ideas of the 'objective correlative' and 'situatedness' to a familiarity with German Idealism. Heidegger shared this familiarity, suggesting a reason for the similarity of their thought. Chapter one explores the 'authenticity' developed in Being and Time, as well as associated themes like temporality, the 'they' (Das Man), inauthenticity, idle talk and angst, and applies them to interpreting Eliot's (...) poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'. Both texts depict a bleak Modernist view of the early twentieth-century Western human condition, characterized as a dispiriting nihilism and homelessness. Chapter two traces the chronological development of Ereignis in Heidegger's thinking, showing the term's two discernible but related meanings: first our nature as the 'site of the open' where Being can manifest, and second individual 'Events' of 'appropriation and revelation'. The world is always happening as 'event', but only through our appropriation by the Ereignis event can we become aware of this. Heidegger finds poetry, the essential example of language as the 'house of Being', to be the purest manifestation of Ereignis, taking as his examples Hölderlin and Rilke. A detailed analysis of Eliot's late work Four Quartets reveals how Ereignis, both as an ineluctable and an epiphanic condition of human existence, is central to his poetry, confirming, in Heidegger's words, 'what poets are for in a destitute time', namely to re-found and restore the wonder of the world and existence itself. This restoration results from what Eliot calls 'raid[s] on the inarticulate', the poet's continual striving to enact that openness to Being through which human language and the human world continually come to be. The final chapter shows how both Eliot and Heidegger value a genuine relationship with place as enabling human flourishing. Both distrust technological materialism, which destroys our sense of the world as dwelling place, and both are essentially committed to a genuinely authentic life, not the angstful authenticity of Being and Time, but a richer belonging which affirms our relationship with the earth, each other and our gods. (shrink)
In this article, I explore select case studies of Parkinson patients treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) in light of the notions of alienation and authenticity. While the literature on DBS has so far neglected the issues of authenticity and alienation, I argue that interpreting these cases in terms of these concepts raises new issues for not only the philosophical discussion of neuro-ethics of DBS, but also for the psychological and medical approach to patients under DBS. In particular, (...) I suggest that the experience of alienation and authenticity varies from patient to patient with DBS. For some, alienation can be brought about by neurointerventions because patients no longer feel like themselves. But, on the other hand, it seems alienation can also be cured by DBS as other patients experience their state of mind as authentic under treatment and retrospectively regard their former lives without stimulation as alienated. I argue that we must do further research on the relevance of authenticity and alienation to patients treated with DBS in order to gain a deeper philosophical understanding, and to develop the best evaluative criterion for the behavior of DBS patients. (shrink)
One objection to enhancement technologies is that they might lead us to live inauthentic lives. Memory modification technologies (MMTs) raise this worry in a particularly acute manner. In this paper I describe four scenarios where the use of MMTs might be said to lead to an inauthentic life. I then undertake to justify that judgment. I review the main existing accounts of authenticity, and present my own version of what I call a “true self” account (intended as a complement, (...) rather than a substitute, to existing accounts). I briefly describe current and prospective MMTs, distinguishing between memory enhancement and memory editing . Moving then to an assessment of the initial scenarios in the light of the accounts previously described, I argue that memory enhancement does not, by its very nature, raise serious concerns about authenticity. The main threat to authenticity posed by MMTs comes, I suggest, from memory editing. Rejecting as inadequate the worries about identity raised by the President’s Council on Bioethics in Beyond Therapy , I argue instead that memory editing can cause us to live an inauthentic life in two main ways: first, by threatening its truthfulness, and secondly, by interfering with our disposition to respond in certain ways to some past events, when we have reasons to respond in such ways. This consideration allows us to justify the charge of inauthenticity in cases where existing accounts fail. It also gives us a significant moral reason not to use MMTs in ways that would lead to such an outcome. (shrink)
Introduction: The metaphysics of responsibility and philosophy of education -- Moral responsibility, authenticity, and the problem of manipulation -- A novel perspective on the problem of authenticity -- Forward-looking authenticity in the internalism/externalism debate -- Authentic education, indoctrination, and moral responsibility -- Moral responsibility, hard incompatibilism, and interpersonal relationships -- On the significance of moral responsibility and love -- Love, commendability, and moral obligation -- Love, determinism, and normative education.
The question of authenticity centers in the lives of women of color to invite and restrict their representative roles. For this reason, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Uma Narayan advocate responding with strategic essentialism. This paper argues against such a strategy and proposes an epistemic understanding of the question of authentic- ity. The question stems from a kernel of truth—the connection between experience and knowledge. But a coherence theory of knowledge better captures the sociality and the holism of experience and (...) knowledge. (shrink)
As people look for a way to ground their judgments of moral, political, aesthetic claims in the face of the postmodernists who claim nothing can be grounded, Reflective Authenticity attempts to rescue some of the critical ideals of the Enlightenment without falling prey to those who say that the Enlightenment's tenets of objectivity, reason, liberalism makes this impossible and in the face of multiculturalism, difference, and the death of subject, are outdated. Alessandro Ferrara suggests that the notion of reflective (...)authenticity offers the key to a new kind of exemplary universalism which, different from the generalizing universalism typical of modern thought, does not fall under the critique of foundationalism articulated by postmodernist thinkers. (shrink)
This paper arises out of the transition from a PhD thesis on Heidegger's phenomenology to my attempts to come to terms with 'becoming a teacher'. The paper will provide a phenomenological interpretation of being a teacher in relation to the question of an 'authentic' interpretation of teaching/learning and the possibility of an authentic interpretative praxis. I will argue that being a teacher is a phenomenon of human existence which can be interpreted as a possible way of being with authentic and (...) inauthentic potentialities. This way of being is intrinsically linked to that of learning; of becoming human or becoming the authentic possibilities of being-human. As such, the problem of being a teacher is primarily an ethical question (or a question of ɛτηοσ—dwelling); of who we are as humans and of how being a teacher engages with the in-formation of the becoming of students as authentic human beings. This then leads to the problem of how a phenomenological interpretation of education can be applied or lived; of authenticity in teaching/learning and the possibilities of authentic learning environments (educational dwelling). (shrink)
This paper tries to read some structure into the perplexing diversity of the literature on Heidegger’s concept of authenticity. It argues that many of the interpretations available rely on views that are false and cannot be Heidegger’s. It also shows that the only correct interpretation of Heidegger’s concept of authenticity emerges from a synthesis of Dreyfus’ later interpretation and Haugeland’s interpretation of this concept. A synthesis of these interpretations yields an interpretation, according to which Dasein’s being is authentic (...) only if it is capable of using tools or language in radically new ways. (shrink)
The recent financial crisis has prompted questioning of our basic ideas about capitalism and the role of business in society. As scholars are calling for “responsible leadership” to become more of the norm, organizations are being pushed to enact new values, such as “responsibility” and “sustainability,” and pay more attention to the effects of their actions on their stakeholders. The purpose of this study is to open up a line of research in business ethics on the concept of “authenticity” (...) as it can be applied in modern organizational life and more specifically to think through some of the foundational questions about the logic of values. We shall argue that the idea of simply “acting on one’s values” or “being true to oneself” is at best a starting point for thinking about authenticity. We develop the idea of the poetic self as a project of seeking to live authentically. We see being authentic as an ongoing process of conversation that not only starts with perceived values but also involves one’s history, relationships with others, and aspirations. Authenticity entails acting on these values for individuals and organizations and thus also becomes a necessary starting point for ethics. After all, if there is no motivation to justify one’s actions either to oneself or to others, then as Sartre has suggested, morality simply does not come into play. We argue that the idea of responsible leadership can be enriched with this more nuanced idea of the self and authenticity. (shrink)
This essay explores philosophical questions about practical identity that emerge in David Cronenberg's films, "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises." I distinguish the metaphysical problems of personal identity from the practical problems and contend that the latter are of central importance to the topic of authenticity. Central scenes from both films are examined with an eye to their engagement with the issues of authenticity and self-creation.
Little is known about how and why corporate social responsibility (CSR) emerged in lesser developed countries. In order to address this knowledge gap, we used Chile as a test case and conducted a series of in-depth interviews with leaders of CSR initiatives. We also did an Internet and literature search to help provide support for the findings that emerged from our data. We discovered that while there are similarities in the drivers of CSR in developed countries, there are distinct differences (...) as well. In particular, we found that different sectors drive CSR in Chile. In contrast to other geographies where consumer demand and government regulation provided the impetus for CSR efforts, multinational companies (MNCs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are key actors in Chile. MNCs imported their CSR beliefs, skills, and processes into Chile. Their efforts resulted in a virtuous cycle. Once large domestic firms felt pressured by their MNC rivals, they too adopted CSR initiatives. The ability to manage relationships with multiple stakeholders and perceptions of authenticity were also critical to the success of CSR in Chile. Using network theory as a lens, we suggest that network density and centrality largely determine whether CSR efforts will be authentic. Based on these contentions, we suggest avenues for future research. (shrink)
Taking a Sartrean existentialist viewpoint towards business ethics, in particular, concerning the question of the nature of businesspersons’ moral character, provides for a dramatically distinct set of reflections from those afforded by the received view on character, namely that of Aristotelian-based virtue ethics. Insofar as Sartre’s philosophy places human freedom at center stage, I argue that the authenticity with which a businessperson approaches moral situations depends on the degree of consciousness he or she has of the various choices at (...) stake. Finally, I consider some practical changes in business ethics education, managerial decision-making, and business organizations that Sartrean reflections might prompt. (shrink)
Despite recognizing the importance of developing authentic corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, noticeably absent from the literature is consideration for how employees distinguish between authentic and inauthentic CSR programs. This is somewhat surprising given that employees are essentially the face of their organization and are largely expected to act as ambassadors for the organization’s CSR program (Collier and Esteban in Bus Ethics 16:19–33, 2007 ). The current research, by conducting depth interviews with employees, builds a better understanding of how employees (...) differentiate between authentic and inauthentic CSR programs, and how these judgments influence their perceptions of the organization. We find that employees rely on two different referent standards to form authenticity judgments—the extent to which the image put forth in the CSR program aligns with the organization’s true identity and the extent to which the CSR program itself is developmental. To assess the former, employees draw on cues about resource commitment, alignment between elements of the organization’s CSR program, emotional engagement, justice, and embeddedness. The latter assessments are based on the extent to which the organization adopts a leadership role with regards to its CSR initiatives. We also find that perceived authenticity can lead to positive outcomes such as organizational identification and employee connections. This study contributes to the broad literatures on both CSR and authenticity, as well as more specifically adding to the conversation on authenticity as a potentially valuable lens for enriching business ethics theorizing. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the history and style of the real-life skinhead subculture in order to clarify its nature and to highlight its preoccupation with the ideal of "authenticity." I then use the insights thus gained in order to understand why it is that the skinhead characters in such fictional films as Romper Stomper, American History X and The Believer are, despite their neo-Nazism, granted a sympathetic depiction.
This paper examines the concept of authenticity and its relevance in education, from a philosophical perspective. Under the heading of educational authenticity (EA), I critique Fred Newmann’s views on authentic pedagogy and intellectual work. I argue against the notion that authentic engagement is usefully analyzed in terms of a relationship between school work and: “real” work. I also seek to clarify the increasingly problematic concept of constructivism, arguing that there are two distinct constructivist theses, only one of which (...) deserves serious attention. I explain that the correspondence view of authenticity pays insufficient attention to the reality that the presence of “real world” connections does not guarantee that teaching and learning will be truly authentic. As a bridge to a philosophically acceptable understanding of authenticity, I reflect on John Dewey, who famously strove to base his views on education on the experience of the child, while rejecting that such experience requires validation from the “real” world. And Jean Jacques Rousseau offers several clues as to how the search for an authentic self might proceed beyond the Romanticist vision of an inner essence. These include the idea of the self as constructed inter-subjectively, which I capture by the term “one among others” and which, in turn, reveals persons as dialogically engaged in working out who they are and what they stand for (an idea found in the work of Charles Taylor). There is a clear affinity here with the imperative proposed by Newmann. I embrace the idea that the cultivation of dialogue should be a key priority in classrooms, because dialogue drives each individual to seek meaning in the context of seeing her/himself as one among others. I highlight the role of the classroom community of inquiry as an environment which has the dual function of cultivating disciplined inquiry and facilitating the kind of personal development that can, most properly, be termed “authentic”. (shrink)
In current American medical practice, autonomy is assumed to be more valuable than human life: if a patient autonomously refuses lifesaving treatment, the doctors are supposed to let him die. In this paper we discuss two values that might be at stake in such clinical contexts. Usually, we hear only of autonomy and best interests. However, here, autonomy is ambiguous between two concepts—concepts that are tied to different values and to different philosophical traditions. In some cases, the two values (that (...) of agency and that of authenticity) entail different outcomes. We argue that the comparative value of these values needs to be assessed. (shrink)
Becoming Langston Hughes -- Producing authentic Blackness -- Authenticity in the blues poetry -- The ethics of compromise -- Simple goes to Washington: Hughes and the McCarthy committee -- "Speak to me now of compromise" : Hughes and the specter of Booker T. -- Appendix A: Hughes's senate testimony in executive session -- Appendix B: Hughes's public testimony.
Ways of Being Free: Introduction -- War Is Everything's Father: History and Death as Causes of Existential Angst -- Introduction: Causes of Existential Angst -- Change and Changelessness in Midnight's Children -- The Road of Existential Struggle in The Famished Road -- History and the "Nervous Condition" in The English Patient -- Death as a Drive to Meaningful Existence in Midnight's Children -- Becoming Dead-to-the-World in The English Patient -- Ideological Re-appropriation through Death in The Famished Road -- Authenticity (...) -- Authenticity: Introduction -- From Self-Sufficiency to Inoperative Community in The English Patient -- Revolution Revisited in The Famished Road -- From Communalism to the Comic Absurd in Midnight's Children. (shrink)
In healthcare ethics there is a discussion regarding whether autonomy of personal preferences, what sometimes is referred to as authenticity, is necessary for autonomous decision-making. It has been argued that patients’ decisions that lack sufficient authenticity could be deemed as non-autonomous and be justifiably overruled by healthcare staff. The present paper discusses this issue in relation certain psychiatric disorders. It takes its starting point in recent qualitative studies of the experiences and thoughts of patients’ with anorexia nervosa where (...) issues related to authenticity seem particularly relevant. The paper examines different interpretations of authenticity relevant for autonomy and concludes that the concept, as it has been elaborated in recent debate, is highly problematic to use as a criterion for autonomous decision-making in healthcare. (shrink)
Farmers’ markets have enjoyed a resurgence in the past two decades in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This increase in popularity is attributed to a host of environmental, social, and economic factors, often related to the alleged benefits of local food, alternative farming, and producer–consumer interactions. Steeped in tradition, there are also widely held assumptions related to the type of food and food vendors that belong at a farmers’ market in addition to the type of experience that (...) should take place. There remains a need to explore and analyze these fundamental aspects of the farmers’ market and to consider how they influence their formation and function. This paper argues that discourses of authenticity are central to the identity of the farmers’ market, and that they are constructed differently “from above” by those seeking to regulate farmers’ markets in particular jurisdictions and “from below” by managers, producers, and consumers at individual markets. A literature-based discussion is complemented and grounded by consideration of institutional statements regarding authenticity and of key results from a survey of managers, food vendors, and customers at 15 farmers’ markets in Ontario, Canada. It is demonstrated that while the general discourse about authenticity at the farmers’ market is built around strict, almost ideological assumptions about the presence of “local food” and those who produce it, community-level responses reflect considerable diversity in the interpretation and composition of the farmers’ market. It is suggested that a binary view of authenticity, where some farmers’ markets are cast as “real” and others presumably not, is highly problematic as it tends to ignore a large and important middle ground with multiple identities. (shrink)
We add a political culture dimension to the debate over the politics of food. Central to food politics is the cultural granting of authenticity, experienced through the conjuring of relational presences of authorship. These presences derive from the faces and the places of relationality, what we term the ghosts of taste, by which food narratives articulate claims of the authorship of food by people and environments, and thus claim of authenticity. In this paper, we trace the often-conflicting presences (...) of authenticating ghosts in food along a prominent axis of current debate: the local versus the global. The three cases outlined here—Greek food, Thousand Island dressing, and wild rice—illustrate the recovery and suppression of the lingering spirits of both local and global faces and places in what we taste, and show the mutually interdependent consequence of culture and economics in food politics. (shrink)
It is often suggested that artists from one culture (outsiders) cannot successfully employ styles, stories, motifs and other artistic content developed in the context of another culture. I call this suggestion the aesthetic handicap thesis and argue against it. Cultural appropriation can result in works of high aesthetic value.
An essential resource for understanding cutting edge developments in contemporary education. Using real life examples of educational technology, it explains why rhetorical relations must replace cognitive process as the central focus of education.
Schleiermacher's "Soliloquies" not only represent a pivotal work in this classically modern theologian's development as a moral philosopher. They are also arguably the principal moral writing of the early German romantic movement and therefore a significant, if widely overlooked, contribution to the history of ethics in the West. This essay provides a comprehensive interpretation and modest retrieval of this unusual and difficult work by bringing Schleiermacher's early "ethics of individuality" into conversation with Charles Taylor's conception of "expressivist" understandings of human (...) selfhood. It argues that the Monologen are a signal instance of what Taylor has subtly characterized as romanticism's expressivist impulse. (shrink)
In this article I have argued that the issue of the effect of education on one getting educated is an ontological one. I make my case with the help of Heidegger's concepts of Dasein, and man's-being-in-the-world. I first argue that tradition is constitutive of one's being, and that man's being is in-a-tradition, and then make the case that education is located in tradition, and that education is a process by which one is initiated into that tradition. As a consequence getting (...) educated in a tradition outside one's own has the effect of dislocating the being of the one getting educated. (shrink)
"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? 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, Carl Jung and Konrad Lorenz, and reflects on the future of being authentic in a postmodern, global age. He argues ultimately that being authentic is not about what is owed to me but how I depend on others. (shrink)
The concept of authenticity -- the idea of `being oneself' or being `true to oneself' -- is central to modern moral thought. Yet it is a puzzling notion. This article discusses two accounts of it. Essentialism holds that each individual has a `true' nature or self. Feelings and actions are authentic when they correspond to this nature. This approach is contrasted with views of the self as a complex entity in which all parts are essential, and in which (...) class='Hi'>authenticity involves the harmonious functioning of all parts together. This approach is illustrated from Freud and Plato, and defended against the charge of conservatism (Marcuse) and the postmodernist rejection of the very idea of an integral self (Rorty). (shrink)
Our knowledge of the human brain and the influence of pharmacological substances on human mental functioning is expanding. This creates new possibilities to enhance personality and character traits. Psychopharmacological enhancers, as well as other enhancement technologies, raise moral questions concerning the boundary between clinical therapy and enhancement, risks and safety, coercion and justice. Other moral questions include the meaning and value of identity and authenticity, the role of happiness for a good life, or the perceived threats to humanity. Identity (...) and authenticity are central in the debate on psychopharmacological enhancers. In this paper, I first describe the concerns at issue here as extensively propounded by Carl Elliott. Next, I address David DeGrazia’s theory, which holds that there are no fundamental identity-related and authenticity-related arguments against enhancement technologies. I argue, however, that DeGrazia’s line of reasoning does not succeed in settling these concerns. His conception of identity does not seem able to account for the importance we attach to personal identity in␣cases where personal identity is changed through enhancement technology. Moreover, his conception of authenticity does not explain the reason why we find inauthentic values objectionable. A broader approach to authenticity can make sense of concerns about changes in personal identity by means of enhancement technologies. (shrink)
Some philosophers have criticized the use of psychopharmaceuticals on the grounds that even if these drugs enhance the person using them, they threaten their authenticity. Others have replied by pointing out that the conception of authenticity upon which this argument rests is contestable; on a rival conception, psychopharmaceuticals might be used to enhance our authenticity. Since, however, it is difficult to decide between these competing conceptions of authenticity, the debate seems to end in a stalemate. I (...) suggest that we need not resolve this debate to end the stalemate. New technologies which alter the self can be understood within the framework of the first conception of authenticity, I suggest, not as threatening the authentic self, but rather as bringing the outward appearance of the self into line with its deepest essence. Since psychopharmaceutical use can plausibly be understood on this model, it can be seen as enhancing our authenticity on either conception. (shrink)
In Fear and Trembling Kierkegaard outlines and defends a faith-based religious ethic, belief in which justifies transgressing the universal ethical norms of the community. In contrast to certain commentators who maintain that Kierkegaard’s argument is about the individual’s relation to God, I understand that this aspect of Kierkegaard’s argument is only important because he maintains that faith in God is a necessary aspect of authentic being. Thus, I argue that Kierkegaard’s argument is about the role faith plays in the formation (...) and transformation of individual identity. To defend my argument, I pay particular attention to: 1) why he maintains that authenticity is found in the faith-based religious ethic; 2) what transformative impact the individual's adoption of the faith-based religious ethic can have on his/her existence; and 3) what the structural relation is between the authentic faith-based religious ethic and the universal ethic of the community. I conclude by showing that Kierkegaard’s failure to differentiate between the contents of different faith-based actions leads his faith-based religious ethic to fall into an ethical antinomy. (shrink)
Prudence and authenticity are sometimes seen as rival virtues. Prudence,as traditionally conceived, is temporally neutral. It attaches no intrinsic significance to the temporal location of benefits or harms within the agent’s life; the prudent agent should be equally concerned about all parts of her life. But people’s values and ideals often change over time, sometimes in predictable ways, as when middle age and parenthood often temporize youthful radicalism or spontaneity with concerns for comfort,security, and predictability. In situations involving diachronic, (...) intrapersonal conflicts of value, prudence—in particular,temporal neutrality—appears to require the agent to subordinate her current ideals to her future ones or at least to moderate pursuit of current ideals in light of future ones. But this demand may seem to sacrifice authenticity, if we suppose that authenticity requires acting on the ideals that the agent reflectively and sincerely accepts at the time of action. This tension between prudence and authenticity raises interesting questions about temporal neutrality, the structure of intrapersonal conflicts of value, the nature of ideals, and the demands of authenticity. After examining various aspects of this puzzle, I defend the commitments of prudence in situations involving intrapersonal value conflict and argue that authenticity—understood as being true to oneself— actually supports temporal neutrality. I conclude by suggesting how this defense of prudence lends credibility to the more general demand of temporal neutrality. (shrink)