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what is required of an authentic choice is that it involve a proper coordination of transcendence and facticity, and thus that it avoid the pitfalls of an uncoordinated expression of the desire for being. This amounts to not-grasping oneself as freedom and facticity. Such a lack of proper coordination between transcendence and facticity constitutes bad faith, either at an individual or an inter-personal level. Such a notion of authenticity is therefore quite different from what is often popularly misrepresented as a typically existentialist attitude, namely an absolute prioritisation of individual spontaneity. On the contrary, a recognition of how our freedom interacts with our facticity exhibits the responsibility which we have to make proper choices

https://iep.utm.edu/sartre-ex/

Question Sartre says that bad faith = action motivated by appeal to any ethical theories, to any notions about one's essence, or to the dictates of others. If I cannot act like that, in what way can I act as to do so authentically?

My understanding: The above says that it is not out of "pure spontaneity" (Section 6b): rather, "what is required of an authentic choice is that it involve a proper coordination of transcendence and facticity ... a recognition of how our freedom interacts with our facticity exhibits the responsibility which we have to make proper choices"

Knowing that facticity = our situation, and transcendence = moving beyond the given circumstance, I interpret this as meaning an authentic choice is one where we coordinate our real situation, with our ability to move beyond it. In particular, we can't act "purely in transcendence" (i.e., out of pure spontaneity), nor in "pure facticity" (i.e., completely give up our choice). I agree, therefore, that a balance is needed. I am not sure how this coordination works more precisely, though.

(It seems like this might be Sartre's universalization principle (similar to that of Kant's), but I am not sure why that is the `right answer' given Sartre 'wants' (a balance of transcendence and facticity).)

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  • Subtly speaking proper coordination doesn't necessarily mean balance, can you weigh facticity and transcendence on a same external scale algebraically? But you can take responsibility with authenticity as to flee bad faith... Apr 3 at 5:56
  • @DoubleKnot it still seems to me that Sartre posits what an authentic action is without furnishing precise way to act like that, which is not only unsatisfying but raises the doubt of whether such a thing truly is possible. A balance of transcendence and facticity sounds elegant, but I'm not convinced how it can truly exist in an action.
    – algebroo
    Apr 3 at 14:32
  • Indeed it perhaps very hard to see evidence from the observation via the usual senses in oneself, that's perhaps some other philosophers used the word 'gaze' for oneself. But at least it seems Socrates was convinced when he claimed 'examined' life... Apr 3 at 14:40

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