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The Westgate Pub

38 Westgate Street BA1 1EL, · Bath

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We'll be upstairs. There is no charge but we are expected to buy drinks.

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Authenticity Melvyn Bragg In Our Time Radio 4.
This programme is used as the starting point for a discussion on philosophers’ ideas about being authentic.

The views of Aristotle, St Augustin, Rousseau, Kierkegaard, Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger are discussed concluding with Sartre. Simone de Beauvoir is also mentioned in the programme, her ideas and interaction with Sartre. More recent ideas about authenticity within psychology (Donald Winnicott) are touched on.

Identify the philosophers/ thinkers who have expressed views on the questions below and form your own responses.

Does social existence corrupt human beings and stifle compassion and consequently our authentic response?

Does Christianity/ monotheism make us act in servile fear and not act in accordance with our own belief of right and wrong?

Do pressures to please others or to gain respect by society stop us acting authentically?

Consider the questions below for our discussion:

Do any of the philosophers follow their own views on authenticity in their everyday lives?

Is it possible to live in society and be authentic?

Is authenticity a valid goal to be pursued?

Is authenticity a modern fixation on self, borne out of capitalism?

Is authenticity something to be striven for?

To what extent are we free to be autonomous?

Is an authentic self a myth?

Contribution by participants to cover meetup fee cost: £2