Authenticity and Enhancement
Recent accounts of authenticity have defined the concept in terms of self-creation, self-discovery, or some combination of the two. While these accounts get something right about the concept, I argue that they fail to capture all the elements of authenticity that an adequate account ought to capture. In this dissertation, I develop and defend a novel account of authenticity that preserves some features of previous accounts while also introducing new ones. My account is two-pronged (recognizing what I term the ‘target’ and ‘response’ dimensions of authenticity), and through it I come to the conclusion that authenticity is best characterized as the practice of living in accordance with one’s values. After outlining and defending this account, I consider how it might impact or inform current debates regarding how the use of psychoactive drugs for so-called ‘enhancement’ purposes affect users’ authentic selves.
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