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Charles Taylor's Ethics of Authenticity

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  1. The opposition between the knockers and the boosters of modernity
  2. The ideal of authenticity
  3. The author's analysis

If Francis Picabia was right in asserting that "only cowards celebrate every idiocy that emerges from History in the name of Modernity", Charles Taylor's The Ethics of Authenticity testifies the author's intellectual courage. In this opus, the Canadian philosopher presents a thoughtful and original criticism of Modernity's pernicious drifts and inner discrepancies. Building on Alexis de Tocqueville's prophetic insights on the transition to the democratic age, he begins defining the position of the "modernity's knockers". These thinkers, such as Bloom, Lasch or Bell, tend to criticize the perilous modern veer towards the prevalence of "mild relativism", which refuses any moral judgment, "subjectivism", which confers equal value to each personal choices and "instrumental reason", which focuses on means and consequently denies any possibility to debate the ends of one's existence.

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