Anorexia, Authenticity, and the Expert Perspective

Hastings Center Report 41 (6):3-3 (2011)


In this issue of the Hastings Center Report, Tony Hope, Jacinta Tan, Anne Stewart, and Ray Fitzpatrick, reporting on twenty-nine interviews they conducted with women with so-called anorexia nervosa, note that the participants recurrently raised issues of authenticity. The paper reflects on the way their behaviors, experiences, and choices can be considered authentic , or inauthentic . The authors also pose a question about the normative implications of their analysis—if some choices are inauthentic, then is it ethical to override them? For example, they suggest that “showing respect” for the sufferer “does not necessarily mean simply acceding to the person’s ..

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