Authenticity, Autonomy, and Enhancement

Dilemata 19 (2015)
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This paper aims to provide a clarification of the long debate on whether enhancement will or will not diminish authenticity. It focuses particularly on accounts provided by Carl Elliott and David DeGrazia. Three clarifications will be presented here. First, most discussants only criticise Elliott’s identity argument and neglect that his conservative position in the use of enhancement can be understood as a concern over social coercion. Second, Elliott’s and DeGrazia’s views can, not only co-exist, but even converge together as an autonomy based theory of authenticity. Third, the current account of autonomy provided by DeGrazia fails to address the importance of rationality and the ability of self-correction, which, as a result impedes the theory to provide a fully developed account for authenticity. In conclusion, a satisfactory account of authenticity cannot focus only on identity or subjective preference.

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Pei-Hua Huang
University of Adelaide


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