Thursday, May 18, 2017

665: Authenticity.....

Last time I introduced the concept of authenticity and the fact that people when they must choose
rather choose for their authenticity than for happiness, when they know that this happiness is in fact artificially induced.
We now shouldn’t make the mistake to believe that authenticity is the ultimate value in life. And we definitely should not generalize this idea.
It is well possible that in other cultures people would be puzzled by a desire of authenticity. Yet millions of people find it an important value.
From that point of view it is worth to have a closer look at this concept of authenticity. Where did it come from? Has it always been a human desire?
Authenticity as a characteristic attributed to human beings arises the question: What is it to be oneself, at one with oneself, or truly representing one's self? 
The multiplicity of puzzles that arise in conjunction with the concept of authenticity connects with metaphysical, epistemological, and moral issues.
On the one hand, being oneself is inescapable, since whenever one makes a choice or acts, it is oneself who is doing these things. 
But on the other hand, we are sometimes inclined to say that some of the thoughts, decisions and actions
that we undertake are not really one's own and are therefore not genuinely expressive of who one is. 
Here, the issue is no longer of metaphysical nature, but rather about moral-psychology, identity and responsibility.
We can recognise a lot of things, discussing this subject, which we discussed in previous projects. To begin with its history…
A number of significant cultural changes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to the emergence of a new ideal in the Western world.
During this period, human beings came to be thought of more as individuals than as placeholders in systems of social relations. 
This emphasis on the importance of the individual is seen in the prevalence of autobiographies and self-portraits, 
where the individual becomes the centre of attention not because of extraordinary feats or access to special knowledge, but because he or she is an individual.
This philosophical, anthropological development in those centuries is rather unknown in other cultures of those times..
What fascinates me in all this is, that is looks like Europe has been the inventor of individualism 
and in relation to that the inventor of desire of individual happiness.
In this development we may also see the roots of the present day’s liberalism.
The most fascinating in all this is of course the question: how did this desire of authenticity, this individualism emerge?
From 1400 on there is the rise of a middle class in Europe. The world no longer is a rich upper class and a poor lower class.
There develops a wealthy middle class, which gathers wealth by their individual efforts. 
Society is no longer a God given structure but becomes a “social contract “ between individuals. We hear the echo of Thomas Hobbes and John Lock here, for instance.
Thus authenticity and happiness have  become part of our life and part of the meaning of life.
Thank you for your attention… ^_^

The Discussion

[13:17] Faust (faust.saenz): Isn't virtue ethics about the cultivation of the self?
[13:17] herman Bergson: Yes Faust.....
[13:17] Faust (faust.saenz): Is authenticity a rediscovery of that tradition?
[13:17] herman Bergson: And we'll get back to Aristotle indeed
[13:17] herman Bergson: Maybe you could say that yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: But virtue is a wider concept then authenticity.....
[13:19] herman Bergson: One criticism of the desire of authenticity is the possibility of self-indulgence and narcism...
[13:19] herman Bergson: But I don't support that criticism....
[13:19] herman Bergson: I see authenticity as a self statement in relation to the other...
[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok
[13:20] herman Bergson: We only can be authentic in relation to the other
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:21] Faust (faust.saenz): Friendship is not possible without letting a potential friend understand your authentic self.
[13:21] herman Bergson: That is what makes friendship meaningful I'd say
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: Have a seat Vent :-)
[13:22] Faust (faust.saenz): But once a friendship begins, the authentic self becomes subject to the influence of the friendship in ways that cannot be known in advance.
[13:22] vent Rust: thanks herman hello all
[13:22] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello Vent
[13:23] vent Rust: hello beer
[13:23] herman Bergson: That  looks more like a psychological issue to me Faust
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi Vent
[13:23] Faust (faust.saenz): Hi vent
[13:23] vent Rust: hi bejita
[13:23] vent Rust: hi faust
[13:23] herman Bergson: You might loose your authenticity in a friendship indeed...
[13:23] herman Bergson: But I'd say that is a bad thing
[13:24] herman Bergson: in any relation
[13:24] CB Axel: I
[13:24] CB Axel: That sounds to me like to be authentic we must not change.
[13:25] CB Axel: Doesn't a friendship change a person at least a little.
[13:25] vent Rust: ok I have to ask   why would one loose authenticity in a friendship
[13:25] Faust (faust.saenz): It seems as if some type of golden mean might be at play between the authenticity and friendship.
[13:25] herman Bergson: I wouldn’t say that CB......
[13:25] CB Axel: And a good friend makes you change for the better.
[13:25] herman Bergson: We all change through the years.....
[13:25] vent Rust: change is the constant   sounds crazy
[13:25] herman Bergson: I am not the same person as the boy of 9 years old I was
[13:26] vent Rust: no shit
[13:26] Faust (faust.saenz): "Ultimately, there is only one reason for love. That one grand reason, which was seen so clearly by the ancients but has gotten lost in the modern stress on individual autonomy, is ’because we bring out the best in each other’." ~Robert Solomon
[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it takes courage to be authentic
[13:26] CB Axel: It takes courage to change, too.
[13:27] Faust (faust.saenz): Just as it takes courage to be open to friendship
[13:27] vent Rust: and how is that done Faust/
[13:27] herman Bergson: It takes courage to stay yourself...
[13:27] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Hello Everybody
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): hello John
[13:27] herman Bergson: Hello John :-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi John
[13:27] vent Rust: that is impossible to stay  anything
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: H John an Vent and everyone
[13:27] vent Rust: Hello John
[13:27] vent Rust: hi Ciska
[13:27] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hello vent and john
[13:28] Faust (faust.saenz): Coming to understand/develop an authentic self si the beginning point for entering into authentic friendship :)
[13:28] herman Bergson: You believe in the PANTA REI Vent?
[13:28] vent Rust: is it easy faust?
[13:28] herman Bergson: The idea that there is only change?
[13:28] vent Rust: you tell me Herman
[13:28] Faust (faust.saenz): not at all
[13:29] vent Rust: right Faust
[13:29] vent Rust: go on Herman
[13:29] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Yet, sometimes I am under the impression that the sole end of our existence is self preservation
[13:30] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): everything we do goes in that direction, the need for a social life too
[13:30] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): and friendship
[13:30] vent Rust: haha John   that sounds nice
[13:30] herman Bergson: Self preservation is  inherent to the biological system we are part of...
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] Faust (faust.saenz): Sneaky genetics made us so that we feel good typically when we connect with others.
[13:31] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): We are here to philosophise but do we take into consideration the millennia of conditioning for survival that our species had to undergo?
[13:31] herman Bergson: Nothing sneaky about that.....I'd say....just evolution
[13:32] Faust (faust.saenz): :)
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): We feel good when connected because we are safer
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we are safer in a group than alone
[13:32] herman Bergson: yes
[13:32] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we have more chance to find food, and to defend ourselves
[13:32] Faust (faust.saenz): Being authentic implies that we are being authentic to something but what is the something?
[13:32] herman Bergson: that is how all social animals behave
[13:33] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): you must be familiar with Desmond Morris's theories
[13:33] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): I find them genial
[13:33] vent Rust: with the words you are using Faust I take it as meaning
[13:33] Faust (faust.saenz): I would vote for core values as the thing that authenticity refers to.
[13:34] vent Rust: you made those values Faust
[13:34] herman Bergson: That will be a difficult thing Faust
[13:34] herman Bergson: They might differ from person to person
[13:34] Faust (faust.saenz): Are our goals and actions aligned with our core values? If not we are living an inauthentic life.
[13:34] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): As animals we are weak, we could survive and prevail thanks to being smart and gregarious
[13:34] herman Bergson: True
[13:34] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we are gregarious animals
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): nature pushes us to be in a group
[13:35] vent Rust: actions have to mention our thoughts well that can be taken several ways Faust
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): but as we are imperfect animals, crazy, insane animals if you prefer, we tend to kill each others
[13:35] vent Rust: animals are anything but weak
[13:35] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): we fight and prey on our own species
[13:36] vent Rust: animals are true no struggle    true to their nature
[13:36] herman Bergson: We are not alone in that John...other animals do too
[13:36] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): some are weak and made to survive thanks to other factors than force and aggressivenes
[13:36] Faust (faust.saenz): Is our set of core values comprehensive enough? Have we thought about the kinds of values that will help us when skies are grey and when skies are blue. Bigger-than-the-self values and values about self-care and self-compassion?
[13:37] vent Rust: Faust you are looking for meaning to be defined   ok
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Other animals compete for territory and females, we kill for pleasure and sport
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they kill only if neecessary
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:37] herman Bergson: Not true John
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but some animals kill for challenge
[13:37] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): the lion kills the cubs of a lioness that is without a male to reproduce his own genes
[13:38] herman Bergson: My cat kills birds for fun....not out of necessity
[13:38] vent Rust: what herman go on tell us more
[13:38] herman Bergson: You missed the opening lecture of today Vent...:-)
[13:38] vent Rust: well herman your cats kills in case quits being your cat
[13:38] CB Axel whispers: Yeah, but cats are jerks. LOL
[13:38] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): they challenge and compete for territory, food, females or their status within the group
[13:38] vent Rust: herman you YOU see no need why your cat kills
[13:38] herman Bergson: They are CB :-)
[13:39] vent Rust: we make pets out of animals dependent on us
[13:39] vent Rust: but
[13:39] vent Rust: they keep their natural skills
[13:39] herman Bergson: it is its instinct to catch and kill
[13:39] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Your cat kills because in nature he has no one to provide him food
[13:39] Faust (faust.saenz): Other animals cannot be authentic because they do not formulate core values.
[13:39] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): your presence is an accident of nature
[13:39] vent Rust: true Herman its their nature
[13:39] Faust (faust.saenz): Except my dog :)
[13:40] vent Rust: some animals  are better at being pets
[13:40] vent Rust: lol
[13:40] Faust (faust.saenz): My dog's core value is to be loving
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:40] vent Rust: well you dog's core value is to be fed
[13:40] vent Rust: more than a wolf's need to eat
[13:41] vent Rust: a wolf will not go to a man for help but a dog has a nature to connect to a human
[13:41] vent Rust: so dogs are very cool
[13:41] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): What I don't like about dogs is that they are servile with the strong and aggressive with the weak
[13:41] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): dogs are too similar to humans
[13:41] herman Bergson smiles
[13:42] vent Rust: nature can appear messy
[13:42] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): When a dog kills a human it's usually a little child or an old person
[13:42] herman Bergson: I guess it is a good time to conclude our discussion for today now that we are discussing dogs :-))
[13:42] vent Rust: dogs connect to humans   and they never make a mistake   never
[13:42] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): lol Herman
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:43] herman Bergson: I don't like dogs that much, you know :-)
[13:43] vent Rust: you sound like we got off topic but it is time
[13:43] CB Axel: Dogs certainly aren't discussing us.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] herman Bergson: We got off topic indeed...:-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): do you know that?
[13:43] CB Axel: We get off topic a lot here. °͜°
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): heheh
[13:43] CB Axel: At least this time it wasn't politics.
[13:43] herman Bergson: So thank you all for th enice discussion and participation again...:-)
[13:43] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi):
[13:43] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:43] John Howard Cassio (sticaatsi): Bye
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu next time
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

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