Being Us: Communities, Organisations, & Politics of Authenticity


Manage episode 291254768 series 2685513
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The pursuit of an authentic self is often compared with the desire for uniqueness, of individuality, of creative freedom. But does this mean, as some have argued, that ‘authenticity’ itself is an individualistic, egotistical, narcissistic, and self-absorbed concept? After all, ‘be yourself', to thine own self be true, and ‘follow your heart’ all conjure up the idea of stepping away from the crowd, not towards it, of living a life for yourself, not for others. If we are an authenticity-seeking species, if we crave our own independence, have a desire to be the master of our own choices, need creative freedom, what does this mean for our politics? What does it mean for social life, for businesses and organizations? Does ‘being you’ – rather than pursuing ‘duty’, for example – result in a narrowing of focus just to yourself as an individual? A loss of a broader social vision? The philosopher Charles Taylor describes this as a horizon. Does the horizon shrink to focus just on yourself? Do we each have a separate horizon? Are our values relativistic? Or do certain things transcend this horizon? Are certain horizons shared? Does the shared pursuit of timber in the town disappear once the residents go their separate ways? How do we think about societies that still share horizons, that consist of individuals pursuing both their own authentic interests and dutifully respond to the needs of the wider community? Then & Now is FAN-FUNDED! Support me on Patreon and pledge as little as $1 per video:

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