Managing Authenticity: Mission Impossible?

Journal of Critical Realism 13 (3):286-303 (2014)
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Abstract

Despite its central focus on human freedom and individual and social emancipation, critical realism has remained surprisingly quiet on the subject of authenticity. Drawing on a review of critical realist metatheory, and a study of authentic performance in the illuminating cultural context of Early Music, this paper seeks to address this gap by exploring the significance of authenticity in today's morphogenetic society. Real authenticity is introduced as the universal human capacity to reflexively manage the inherent contradictions that arise between and across our intra- and interpersonal relationships at different levels of reality. It is this dialectical, phronetic capacity that determines whether acting in line with our ultimate concerns is both good for us as individuals and the organization of better futures for all. Managing real authenticity, therefore, must be considered at the core of any possible transition theory for human flourishing.

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