from day 17/02/2017

The “true self,” more complex, more social

I have entered upon a performance which is without example, whose accomplishment will have no imitator. I mean to present my fellow-mortals with a man in all the integrity of nature; and this man shall be myself.” Thus wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the incipit of his Confessions, a narrative elaboration of his authentic, “true self” as opposed to a hypocritical social identity. Rousseau confessed many weaknesses and failings but the message was clear: his true self, while rich and complex, was better than some of his objectionable actions....

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