The Ethic of Authenticity: Good, Bad or Both? Charles Taylor (Malaise 2-Audio)

In this podcast I discuss the modern idea authenticity as developed in chapters 2 and 3 of Charles Taylor’s “The Malaise of Modernity” (CBC Massey Lecture Series, 1991). Taylor thinks that the ethic of authenticity is separable from the moral relativism, emotivism and narcissism with which it is associated by authors like Allan Bloom and Christopher Lasch, and that it holds promise as a modern moral ideal if we can do so. In these two chapters he begins to excavate why American (including Canadian, though probably less so) culture took a turn into flabby relativism and narcissism and how we might excavate the original meaning of authenticity to see if it holds true promise. To that end, he discusses its Romantic origins in the ideas of Rousseau and Herder. Along the way, I relate some of Taylor’s ideas the work of Isaiah Berlin and Leo Strauss. … More The Ethic of Authenticity: Good, Bad or Both? Charles Taylor (Malaise 2-Audio)

The Ethic of Authenticity: Good, Bad or Both? Charles Taylor (Malaise 2-Video)

In this video I discuss the modern idea authenticity as developed in chapters 2 and 3 of Charles Taylor’s “The Malaise of Modernity” (CBC Massey Lecture Series, 1991). Taylor thinks that the ethic of authenticity is separable from the moral relativism, emotivism and narcissism with which it is associated by authors like Allan Bloom and Christopher Lasch, and that it holds promise as a modern moral ideal if we can do so. In these two chapters he begins to excavate why American (including Canadian, though probably less so) culture took a turn into flabby relativism and narcissism and how we might excavate the original meaning of authenticity to see if it holds true promise. To that end, he discusses its Romantic origins in the ideas of Rousseau and Herder. Along the way, I relate some of Taylor’s ideas the work of Isaiah Berlin and Leo Strauss. … More The Ethic of Authenticity: Good, Bad or Both? Charles Taylor (Malaise 2-Video)

What is Freedom?

That means that those whose primary focus is ideological or economic, who spend most of their mental energy defending their earthly tribe or figuring out how to make the right money moves, are not free. Conversion can have the liberating effect of realizing the supremacy of God over all things human. All things human can come to seem inevitably partial, flawed, mixed. … More What is Freedom?

Need a Nanny? Lasch on Narcissistic Education and Parenting (5-Audio)

This video deals with Chapters 6 and 7 in Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism. While Lasch is critical both of how Americans teach their youth and how they parent, he doesn’t place all the blame on schools, teachers and parents. Rather, it’s the overly specialized bureaucratic capitalist system that necessitates a particular kind of education, the kind that puts out docile worker bees, and an absentee and guilt-ridden parenting that gives authority over to the child raising expert apparatus of the state and the economy. Everyone involved gets paid, if badly, but no one does a particularly good job. … More Need a Nanny? Lasch on Narcissistic Education and Parenting (5-Audio)

Need a Nanny? Christopher Lasch on Narcissistic Education and Parenting (5-Video)

This video deals with Chapters 6 and 7 in Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism. While Lasch is critical both of how Americans teach their youth and how they parent, he doesn’t place all the blame on schools, teachers and parents. Rather, it’s the overly specialized bureaucratic capitalist system that necessitates a particular kind of education, the kind that puts out docile worker bees, and an absentee and guilt-ridden parenting that gives authority over to the child raising expert apparatus of the state and the economy. Everyone involved gets paid, if badly, but no one does a particularly good job. … More Need a Nanny? Christopher Lasch on Narcissistic Education and Parenting (5-Video)