Against Authenticity

By Simon Feldman,

Book cover of Against Authenticity: Why You Shouldn't Be Yourself

Book description

"Be true to yourself"-it is a dictum so ubiquitous that it can seem like both philosophical wisdom and an empty truism. Should we aspire to an ideal of living authentically? What does it mean to be true to yourself? Against Authenticity: Why You Shouldn't Be Yourself is a philosophical exploration…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Against Authenticity as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Feldman’s title does not conceal his aims: this book presents a criticism of the ideal of authenticity as the highest order of self-expression. That said, much of the book is a careful explanation of how authenticity came to be so highly valued, and it catalogs the positive societal aspirations of authenticity when it is framed as a personal virtue. The concluding chapter offers a supremely-reasoned elaboration of four separate arguments against authenticity, after which Feldman invites us to start “looking outward,” rather than inward.

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