- Authenticity of cultures and of persons
- Philosophy and Social Criticism
- Volume | Issue number
- 38 | 4-5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
In this article I argue that it does not make sense - either empirically or normatively - to speak of ‘authentic’ cultures. All we need when talking about cultures is a relatively weak concept that still carries enough normative weight to function as the meaningful background of a person’s identity, autonomy and good life. Discussing the authentic culture, I refer to the debates around the German Leitkultur as well as the Dutch populist movement as examples. However, I am interested not only in the concept of the authenticity of a culture but also in the concept of the authenticity of persons: if an ‘authentic culture’ is not feasible, does this have repercussions on the concept of the autonomy and authenticity of persons? In suggesting that this might be the case, I argue that persons can be autonomous without always being fully authentic.
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