Authenticity naturalized

Behavior and Philosophy 23 (1):21 - 28 (1995)
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Theories of autonomy divide into two conflicting categories: theories that emphasize freedom to choose among alternatives, and theories that focus on personal authenticity. This conflict can be resolved by recognizing the basic function of natural authenticity, and its deep roots in human and animal behavior. Authenticity functions to keep options open that might be too hastily abandoned. Thus forms a natural symbiotic union with autonomy as alternatives. Human authenticity is a special adaptation, but it is not different in kind from the authenticity of many other species. My naturalistic account of authenticity avoids traditional problems concerning willing addicts and happy slaves and reaffirms the traditional link between authenticity and autonomous choices among alternatives



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