The Virtue of Authenticity

In Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics Vol. 5. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 272-295 (2015)
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Abstract

This paper explores the idea of authenticity, both what it is and why it’s valuable. First, I identify and criticize three popular approaches to authenticity: Individual Authenticity, Natural Authenticity, and Truthful Authenticity. Second, I defend a fourth approach to authenticity – what I call Existential Authenticity (EA) – which is comprised of three basic elements: (a) self- understanding, (b) self-expression, and (c) self-concern – in particular, concern about what kind of person one is and what type of life one lead. Third, I explore why EA is valuable in both instrumental and non-instrumental ways.

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Ernesto V. Garcia
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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