Why be real? the anxieties of contemporary authenticity

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OLS 17-18: Why be real?

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


John Henry Brookes Main LectureTheatre, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus


Do you have a true self? Professor Daniel Lea will address the issue of what authenticity actually means in an age of ever-increasing complexity.


With injunctions to be who we are, eat organically and commit to those things in which we truly believe, contemporary society encourages us to live authentically. But do the demands for individuality and genuineness in the realm of personal identity clash with the imperatives of global economics and digital media, or are they a natural extension of late-modernity’s contradictory relation to the self?


Daniel’s lecture will explore the resurgence in interest of the ethical dimensions of authenticity in contemporary literature and philosophy to ask whether it is still possible to believe in a concept as seemingly simple as a true self.