Relational authenticity


In Chapter 8, the authors explore the notion of relational authenticity, arguing that to understand existential authenticity we must not return to the individuality celebrated by classical existentialism nor look for a reductionist explanation in terms of neuronal patterns or mental representations that would simply opt for a more severe methodological individualism and a conception of authenticity confined to proper brain processes. Rather, they propose, we should look for a fuller picture of authenticity in what they call the “4Es“—the embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended conception of mind. They argue that one requires the 4Es to maintain the 4Ms-mind, meaning, morals, and modality—in the face of reductionistic tendencies in neurophilosophy. The 4E approach, they contend, gives due consideration to the importance of the brain, taken as part of the brain-body-environment system, incorporating neuroscience and integrating phenomenological-existentialist conceptions that emphasize embodiment and the social environment.

Publication Title

Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience