Leadership and the Unmasking of Authenticity
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Leadership and the Unmasking of Authenticity

The Philosophy of Self-Knowledge and Deception

Edited by Brent E. Cusher and Mark A. Menaldo

Leadership and the Unmasking of Authenticity presents a philosophic treatment of the core concept of authentic leadership theory, with a view toward illuminating how authors in the history of philosophy have understood authenticity as an ideal for humanity. Such an approach requires a broader view of the historical origins of authenticity and the examination of related ideas such as self-knowledge and deception. The chapters of this book illuminate the conflict between the contemporary understanding of authenticity and traditional philosophy by revisiting the ideas of thinkers who express self-knowledge as a cornerstone of their philosophy.
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Chapter 3: Heidegger on authenticity: The prospect of owning one’s existence

Hans Pedersen


This chapter shows that for Martin Heidegger there is both epistemic and behavioral components to authentic existence. First, the chapter discusses Heidegger’s notion of inauthentic existence and its attendant components: the condition of “falling” and the everyday existence of the “they-self,” both of which pose an obstacle to the clear grasp of understanding authentic existence. Next, the chapter examines Heidegger’s meaning of the terms “conscience” and “resoluteness.” While conscience is the condition for understanding ourselves fully, beyond inauthentic existence, resoluteness is an openness to understanding human existence, which can lead to committed action. The chapter concludes with the normative implications of authentic existence. In the end, authenticity places an obligation on the individual to achieve personhood by explicitly choosing his or her identity as it is lived out in a pre-existing social existence.

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