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CABESTAN, Philippe. Being oneself: a phenomenological approach to authenticity and inauthenticity.Translated byMargarita Maria Garcia Lamelo. Winnicott e-prints [online]. 2010, vol.5, n.1, pp. 1-16. ISSN 1679-432X.

We begin with Winnicott's well-known distinction between a true and a false self, or, in terms borrowed from phenomenology, between an authentic (eigentlich) and an unauthentic (uneigentlich) self. Self, however, is a notion that raises many difficulties also for Winnicott scholars, even if only in its relation with the I [me]. Yet it seems possible to elucidate some of those notions by way of a Heideggerian phenomenology followed by a Sartrean phenomenology of the concepts of self, authenticity and unauthenticity. In fact, for Heidegger the Dasein is not a being, an I (me), in the sense of a substantial ego, but rather a self (Selbst), a being whose mode of being is irreducible to that of a subsisting object (vorhanden) and that can "choose" itself, gain itself (sich gewinnen), and even loose itself (sich verlieren). From this point of view, authenticity is above all a possible mode of existing, and if the Dasein can be itself in the authentic way, it can likewise be in the deprived mode of fleeing and of unauthenticity. Returning to the Heideggerian concept of authenticity, Sartre enriches - it seem to us - by underlining the impossibility for the existent of being what it is. Thus, unlike the unauthentic self that cannot but flee towards that which we might call a false self, the authentic or true self takes on its existence, and therefore also takes on both the contingency of its being and its freedom. Hence, we will try to show that it is possible phenomenologically to resume and go deeper into the Winnicottian conception of the true and false self.

Keywords : self; existential phenomenology; Heidegger; Winnicott; Sartre.

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