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The Transformative SelfPersonal Growth, Narrative Identity, and the Good Life$
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Jack Bauer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780199970742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199970742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

Authenticity, Self-Actualizing, and Self-Authorship

Authenticity, Self-Actualizing, and Self-Authorship

(p.492) 16 Authenticity, Self-Actualizing, and Self-Authorship
The Transformative Self

Jack Bauer

Oxford University Press

The transformative self aims toward authenticity and self-actualizing, which this chapter addresses from a developmental perspective. Two forms of authenticity are distinguished. Essentialist authenticity defines the true self as solely a matter of self-discovery and being true to one’s inborn traits or perceived soul. Existentialist authenticity also values self-discovery but emphasizes self-invention and being true to one’s values. Essentialist authenticity does not necessitate moral concerns, but existentialist authenticity does. The chapter argues that authenticity emerges not only via the matching principle of authenticity (matching actions with some true self) but also via the poiesis principle (the humane, self-making processes and perspectivity of a quiet ego). Youthful authenticity emphasizes independence and identity consolidation, whereas mature authenticity emphasizes interdependent self-actualizing. The chapter then examines self-actualization as maturely authentic self-understanding. Finally, the chapter reframes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to correct common oversimplifications of belongingness and esteem in light of the developing, transformative self.

Keywords:   authenticity, self-actualization, essentialist, existentialist, self-discovery, self-invention, true self, poiesis, development, hierarchy of needs

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