What makes individuals what they are? How should they judge their social and political interaction with the world? What makes them authentic or inauthentic? This original and provocative study explores the concept of "authenticity" and its relevance for radical politics.
Weaving together close readings of three 20th century thinkers: Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers and Jean-Paul Sartre with the concept of authenticity, Stephen Eric Bronner illuminates the phenomenological foundations for self-awareness that underpin our sense of identity and solidarity. He claims that different expressions of the existential tradition compete with one another in determining how authenticity might be experienced, but all of them ultimately rest on self-referential judgments. The author’s own new framework for a political ethic at once serves as a corrective and an alternative.
Wonderfully rich, insightful, and nuanced, Stephen Eric Bronner has produced another bookshelf staple that speaks to crucial issues in politics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Existentialism, Authenticity, Solidarity will appeal to scholars, students and readers from the general public alike.
Table of Contents
1. Authenticity and Silence: Martin Heideggar
2. Authenticity and Communication: Karl Jaspers
3. Authenticity and Engagement: Jean-Paul Satre
4. Authenticity and Solidarity
Stephen Eric Bronner is Board of Governors Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University. Co-Director of the International Council for Diplomacy and Dialogue, and Affiliate Distinguished Fellow at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers, he has taken part in missions of civic diplomacy in Darfur, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and elsewhere. Professor Bronner’s writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he has been the recipient of many awards, including the 2011 MEPeace Prize from the Middle East Political Network based in Jerusalem.
"Stephen Eric Bronner, known for his work on Marxism and the Frankfurt School, now offers his take on the existentialist alternative. His brilliant critique of the cult of authenticity also offers an innovative ethical alternative. An important contribution to current debates."
Andrew Feenberg, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
"Stephen Eric Bronner’s new book is a must read for anyone interested in examining the concept of "authenticity." Exploring the existential understanding of the idea, he offers a new and innovative framework of authentic solidarity. It speaks to students, scholars, and activists alike."
Arnold L. Farr, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky, Founder and Former President of the International Herbert Marcuse Society
"Before and after the Second World War, existentialism of different kinds was important before fading away. In his well documented study, Stephen Eric Bronner advocates for a return to the existentialist theme of authenticity."
Tom Rockmore, Peking University