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UNDERSTANDING SOURCES OF AUTHENTICITY

This quiz is designed to help you with close reading and understanding a dense, sometimes puzzling text...and it's the first of 4 'contest booths' you'll visit today. Ready, set, go.

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  1. Regarding individualism, who was (metaphorically) rubbing elbows with Locke?

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    Rousseau
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    Herder
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    Descartes
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    Taylor
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    Yeeha!

    Indeed! Descartes and Locke had approximately the same theory on individualism, that each person must think and take responsibility for his/herself. Locke just went political with it--each individual's will must come before/trump their role in greater society.

  2. What is the significance of these individualism theories on AUTHENTICITY?

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    They led to the Romantic period.
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    They planted the seed of self awareness.
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    They gave 'the finger' to big government.
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    Hoorah, hoorah!

    SELF-AWARENESS IS THE BUZZWORD OF THE DAY.

  3. Based on both Courbet's self portrait AND what's going on around it in the above picture, what can you glean about the Romantic period?

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    Artistic expression is for the self! The SELF, I say!!
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    Solitude leads to self awareness, self awareness to self expression, self expression to artistic expression, which leads to connection, and connection leads to understanding, and understanding can lead to development, change, transcendence!!!!
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    "You are going to be a painter, my friend; we shall go forwards together. O heavenly painting, what happy moments will you give us." --Eugène Delacroix
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    That's RIGHT, yes!

    At least in Charles Taylor's view, while Romanticism was very focused on the individual, quite influenced by the aforementioned theories of Descartes and Locke, ties to community were also important, namely to invoke change from the 'ultimate truths' one realizes through self-awareness and expressions of art, emotions, etc.

  4. Prior to the late 1800s, morality was...

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    ...being a good person in general, obviously.
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    ...a sense of right and wrong, an intuitive feeling.
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    ...a voice within.
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    A system of checks and balances regarding reward/punishment from God.
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    GOD.

    Yes, God. Initially, morality was quite dependent on calculating DIVINE consequences of actions. Especially since God was the ultimate path to full being.

  5. How would you describe the next (and still fairly applicable) version of morality?

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    A matter of dry calculation, based on external influences.
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    A matter of disengaged reality.
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    A moral sense, based on empathy and awareness, often found by spending time getting to know one's inner self.
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    Woot.

    Haven't you ever seen Pinnochio?

  6. When this 'modern' morality first arose, did it exclude God?

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    Nope. Roads still led to God, and God still held truth.
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    Of course! Morality became entirely individual!
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    No! God was almost never benched at this time in history. God was always in the game. The 'modern' morality, based on inner voice, etc, was the PATH TO God. God was still the quarterback throwing the spiral toward your full-being-touchdown.

  7. What was the deal with Rousseau? What did he articulate about inner voice in the context of society?

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    Morality, our inner voice, is synonymous with our passions. Our salvation lies in spontaneous feelings and the behaviors that arise from those feelings.
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    Morality, our inner voice, is threatened by our passions, which are often triggered by external sources, specifically relationships, even more specifically in the context of those relationships: pride.
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    Morality is the most important result of intimate contact with oneself.
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    Yes!

    This theory of Rousseau is essentially what Taylor refers to as "self determining freedom": We are only free when we decide for ourselves what concerns us, rather than allowing externals to influence us.

  8. What is the difference between "self determining freedom" and "negative liberty"?

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    Negative liberty is more active and more essential to our definition of freedom.
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    Self-determining freedom is more active and more essential to our definition of freedom.
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    Negative liberty is merely being free to do what we want without INTERFERENCE from others/externals. On the other hand, Rousseau's "self determining freedom" DEMANDS that you break any existing holds, conscious or unconscious, of external influences. Whic

  9. So, how is self determining freedom different from AUTHENTICITY?

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    It isn't. They are one and the same.
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    They're closely related, but AUTHENTICITY is more innately politically charged.
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    No, actually, SELF-DETERMINING freedom is more innately politically charged. AUTHENTICITY leans more toward one's individual path.
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    Rousseau pushes self-determining freedom into a more political sphere: it is a social contract, that the definition of freedom is the ability to push back against societal constraints, and therefore, opposition to self-determining freedom is a moot point.

  10. So, the ingredient that creates AUTHENTICITY out of the potion of all these other theories, motivations, and intentions is...

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    Charles Taylor's original views and analysis.
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    Hot pepper.
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    Rousseau's idea that the difference between humans doesn't have moral significance unless we can express ourselves artistically.
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    Herder's idea that we each have an original way of being human, a calling that differentiates us from other humans, deepens our individuality.
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    Yes, the calling. We've all heard of that! The importance of Herder's ingredient to the AUTHENTICITY soup, however, is the idea that if we're not true to this 'calling', this 'original way of being human', we'll miss the point of our lives. And if we don'

    THANK GOD this quiz is done and you can move on to the next step in the SPEED DATING CHARLES TAYLOR obstacle course.

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