On Being Authentic (Thinking in Action) by Charles Guignon

By Charles Guignon

'To thine personal self be true.' From Polonius's phrases in Hamlet correct as much as Oprah, we're continually advised to seem inside of. Why is being real the last word objective in lifestyles for thus many folks, and why does it suggest having a look within instead of out? Is it approximately discovering the 'real' me, or whatever more than me, even God? and may we welcome what we find?Thought-provoking and with an striking diversity of references, On Being genuine is a gripping trip into the self that starts off with Socrates and Augustine. Charles Guignon asks why being actual ceased to intend being a part of a few higher, cosmic photograph and with Rousseau, Wordsworth and the Romantic stream, took the powerful inward flip alive in trendy self-help tradition. He additionally plumbs the darker depths of authenticity, with assistance from Freud, Joseph Conrad and Alice Miller and displays at the way forward for being actual in a postmodern, worldwide age. He argues finally that if we're to rescue the right of being real, we need to see ourselves as essentially social creatures, embedded in relationships and groups, and that being genuine isn't really approximately what's owed to me yet how I rely on others.

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Extra resources for On Being Authentic (Thinking in Action)

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Gone are the older conceptions of “my station and its duties” and the assurance that you are living well so long as you live according to the demands of a wider context of purpose. Though a number of older ideals still circulate in modern Western culture and continue to exert some appeal, there is no longer any sense of an order of things that provides a compelling reason for adopting one set of projects rather than another. For the modern self, projects and undertakings present themselves as anonymous in the sense that none of them is clearly mine as opposed to someone else’s.

For the sort of Romanticism found in The Prelude, there is simply no place for anything outside the self. It should be obvious that a tremendous burden is placed on the idea of the self in the new culture of authenticity that took shape in the nineteenth century. As the self is raised to its status as ultimate reality, the natural question to ask is: What is this self? 19 Given the centrality of this question to Rousseau and Rousseau’s influence on our thinking, following his path of thought should show us a great deal about how we understand the self today.

To be human is to be one animal among others, an organism subject to the same forces of nature that affect other living creatures. This somewhat schizoid and conflicted modern picture of the self as both a subject of experience and a natural organism was accompanied by an increasingly desiccated conception of the aim of existence. Gone are the older conceptions of “my station and its duties” and the assurance that you are living well so long as you live according to the demands of a wider context of purpose.

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