Being and Authenticity (Value Inquiry Book)

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9789042008281: Being and Authenticity (Value Inquiry Book)

"The glorious radiance of existentialist thought in the mid-twentieth century illumined the dark days of European and Asian totalitarianism, only to be dampened all-too-quickly by the rise of many forms of communitarianism. Xunwu Chen has written a brilliant cross-cultural defense of the importance of existential authenticity. Countering the recent trend to see the Confucian tradition as defining the self by its social roles and as taking the community to be more important than the individual, Chen shows that the authentic inhabitation of those roles is prior in importance to the roles themselves, at least in principle. Chen treats the Western tradition in equal detail, arguing for the priority of authenticity to social participation, however necessary the latter is. Acknowledging the importance of social existence, Chen argues forcefully for a "new individualism" that properly criticizes the individualism of classical existentialism. Chen's cross-cultural conversation between China and the West is the needed context for discussions of authenticity in the twenty-first century world." - Robert Cummings Neville, Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology, Boston University

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This book presents a creative approach to the problem of individual authenticity. What is authenticity? What are its necessary conditions? How is an authentic self possible in society? What are the relationships of authenticity, morality, and happiness? The book examines a wide range of questions in Eastern and Western thought, to which it gives novel answers.

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