Thirty-six years ago, Robert Bellah and others, in their seminal book “Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life” identified a problem and prophesied its social consequences - that of political and social polarization. We live in those prophesied consequences today. The problem, as Bellah and his co-authors identified it, was the tendency … Continue reading Inarticulate Authenticity
"It turns out that the concept of common goods is constitutive of pursuing one’s interests."
"...our “politically correct concerned” society fails to provide new avenues for intellectual dialogue outside traditional intellectual engagement; so where can we find such opportunities? "
Arendt invokes the realm of privacy, which is the realm of persons who are significant others to the individual. These significant others are the context for the emergence of an individual. In other words, the realm of privacy includes our social sphere where each of those significant others has a reciprocal relationship with each other. Not only do these significant others constitute our identity as individuals, but each individual also has some responsibility to act as a significant other to the other members. I would call this “community”.
"...with the surprising eradication of relatively unconscious structures that housed and empowered a certain inspiring model of human flourishing, we may want to reconsider how we have housed and empowered human flourishing."
Mr. Peckford and Mr. Trudeau advocate a happy individual who is ripe for manipulation...
he Malaise of Modernity also provides a deeper account of self-fulfillment: the true realization of our gifts demands that we escape the citadel of selfishness and recognize the ethical demands that give real depths to ourselves. In doing so, there is more than some reason for optimism.
*image credit: https://www.davidklassenfineart.com/about https://videopress.com/v/MyIgpYsq?preloadContent=metadata In 2020 and 2021, the cross-pressures on undergraduate education were phenomenal, and they raised so many fears and anxieties that it seemed that we couldn’t be anything but in a CONSTANT state of fear. Individually, we have worn masks and washed hands because we have been afraid to catch and spread … Continue reading Social Mobility and Liberal Education
In the following talk, given May 20, 2021, I was happy to share much of my research on Authenticity as a moral ideal, following the work of Charles Taylor. However, I find that Taylor's work is slightly unstructured. It takes the work of someone with more political training - Hannah Arendt - to provide the … Continue reading Recorded Public Talk: Authenticity in Times of Uncertainty
The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time