Plzeňské sympozia

Tereza Matějčková

Paradoxes of the autobiographical: The modern self-lost and foundt

pp. 9–16 (Czech), summary p. 17 (English)

This article presents two distinctive philosophical conceptions of subjectivity in the 19th century. Although Rousseau himself published in the latter half of the 18th century, his notion of the self as an authentic internality that is not easily reconciled with society found many followers, especially in the following century. Of similar influence was Nietzsche’s conception, which works with the image of the shedding of skin and rejects the self as a solidity of permanence within ourselves. Both concepts are presented within the context of autobiographies, in which the emphasis on reflexivity and self-inquiry is evident. While in Rousseau’s Confessions we see how the self is constituted, in Nietzsche’s Ecce homo we see the disintegration of the individual self. This decomposition is not in contradiction with the self, but is its very essence – the self is authentic when it is at the very limit of its existence.


Key words: authenticity, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche




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