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By Somogy Varga

Authenticity has turn into a frequent moral excellent that represents a fashion of facing normative gaps in modern existence. This excellent means that one can be precise to oneself and lead a lifestyles expressive of what one takes oneself to be. notwithstanding, many modern thinkers have mentioned that the best of authenticity has more and more changed into one of those aestheticism and egoistic self-indulgence. In his publication, Varga systematically constructs a serious thought of authenticity that takes into consideration the reciprocal shaping of capitalism and the perfect of authenticity. Drawing on various traditions in severe social thought, ethical philosophy and phenomenology, Varga builds an idea of authenticity that may make intelligible quite a few troublesome and probably onerous practices of the self.

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This double understanding of the self is essential for achieving full selfhood and it only comes into life when engaging in the practices of a community. It is based on such a conception of the self that Hegel argues that the solution given by Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ is deeply ambiguous. Such a contract relies on an account of negative freedom expressed in terms of rights, which for Hegel brings the danger of destabilizing the community that in return undermines the possibility of the self-realization of individuals.

The Sources of Authenticity 17 But for Hegel this alienation is a step in the progression towards autonomous existence. With Hegel, we see an intellectual atmosphere emerging, in which sincerity becomes suspicious and in which it will later be replaced by the stronger notion of authenticity. ” And Trilling continues: In short, we play the role of being ourselves, we sincerely act the part of the sincere person, with the result that a judgment may be passed upon our sincerity that it is not authentic (Trilling 1972: 10–11).

The modern ideal of authenticity, where the individual pursues a good life that expresses his identity, clashes with the idea of normatively construed autonomy (Menke 1995: 93). ” Menke interprets modern social reality in light of this tragic opposition between autonomy and authenticity, between a normative order (that is constructed in prohibitive terms) and individuality. The idea of autonomy is a legacy of Enlightenment humanism; it emphasizes the individual’s self-governing abilities, which are employed independently of position in political and social structures.

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Authenticity as an Ethical Ideal by Somogy Varga


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