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Document Details :
Title: Athenticity - The View from Within
Author(s): WELTEN, Ruud
Volume: 71 Issue: 2 Date: 2010
In this contribution I wish to attempt a radical phenomenological elucidation of the notion of authenticity. In order to elaborate on this highly problematic philosophical idea of authenticity, I make use of the philosophy of the French philosopher Michel Henry (1922-2002). Although Henry does not make use of the term as such, it is his understanding of the Self as self-affection that makes a real philosophy of authenticity not only possible, but also inevitable. Following this line of thought, I will maintain that Michel Henry’s philosophy is a philosophy of authenticity. Since there is, as we shall see, the original experience of the Self, an original experience of life as self-affection, this primal experience appeals us not to renounce our origin. The authentic sphere as described in Henry’s works is called Life. I will discuss first Henry’s phenomenology as a radicalization of classical phenomenology, in which the appeal for authenticity is explicit. Then I will focus on Henry’s idea of the notion of the Self and how this notion escapes the problem of everlasting self-reference. In the last paragraph I will focus on a possible Henrian comprehension of the authentic life. I will also question the role of Christianity in his later works. Is the Christian life the authentic Life? And if so, what does that imply?