Download The Authentic Self epub
by Robert R. Ehman
Philosopher Robert Ehman looks at the familiar topics of personal identity, morality, sexuality, love, and death from a new perspective: that of the unique, irreplaceable value of each individual self as distinguished from the anonymity of our impersonal world. Ehman defines the authentic self as something more than the locus of spatial-temporal identity, the agent of action, the object of moral duties and respect, or the sum total of personal projects, achievements, social function, and status. What makes the self authentic can be discovered by contrasting who we really are-as irreplaceable individuals with uniquely personal perspectives-with the sterotyped roles we must play in an essentially technological world, where one individual can easily be substituted for another.But the primary experience through which we encounter the authentic self, according to Ehman, is love; for it is personal love that provides access to the unique value of an individual self. This level of insight into the person is quite distinct from a moral appreciation of the individual, in which we respect another as a free being with rights and duties. It is also to be distinguished from sexual desire, in which we appreciate another for his or her potential for satisfying our own sexual urges, regardless of any value apart from the sexual context.Ehman concludes his study by considering Heidegger's intriguing proposal that it is only through a proper understanding of death that we can achieve authenticity. Through the experience of the death of a loved one and by coming to terms with the reality of our own death, we are afforded new opportunities of understanding the unique, irreplaceable value of each personal self.
Robert R. Ehman
Prometheus Books; 1st edition (February 1, 1994)
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