"As Kant might put it, whatever outward behavior he may display, whatever acts may lie in accord with a moral code, nevertheless if he does not act from a moral stance or source, his actions will lack specifically moral worth- specifically human worth. The aesthete has no moral self and hence can form no moral intentions. He can at most conform to public codes." (p.6)
"The ethical individual knows himself, but his knowing is not simply contemplation. It is a collecting of oneself." p.9 quoted from E/O 2:258
"What does one make or do with, the products of self-reflection or self-examination? When the individual has known himself and has chosen himself, he is in the process of actualizing himself." p. 9 quoted from E/O 2:259
---> move past 'idle observation'
---> demanding non-spectatorial "choose thyself" is only real option.
"Self choice is one element within an array of moral concepts at work within the Judge's project of tracing the "development of the personality" It is clearly allied with freedom, autonomy, and the will. With moral freedom comes the burden of responsibility. Standards constituting the moral self operate reflexively: the self takes responsibility for itself. The eternal validity of the self . When work, marriage, and civic duty are morally constructed, the would be self engaged in these practices lacks validity or truth of moral selfhood."
'The Judge (Kierkegaard's voice in E/O) links self choice to "choosing despair" A's existence (referencing a character in E/O) has so far been permeated by moral indifference, a perdition that he has refused to fully face. Confronting this despair or moral perdition will trigger repentance." p.11
"repentance back into family, back into history, back into the human race"
"The aesthete needs to repent, needs to reassess his past in the light of ethical standards.
--> will be central to his self development
--> drop the pose of alienated outsider
--> his life as a detached intellectual or poet, a rootless voyeur gazing indifferently upon the human scene will be finished."
"A properly ethical self will "develop in his life the personal, the civic, the religious virtues, and his life advances through his continually translating himself from one stage to another." E/O 2:262
"The aesthetic's despair foretells " a metamorphosis"
"Everything comes back again, but transformed. Therefore only when life is considered ethically does it take on beauty, truth, meaning, continuance." E/O 2:271
"Self choice is not radical Sartrean choice. The Judge denies that self-choice is a choice "identical with creating myself" E/O 2:217
The ethical individual "does not become someone other than he was before, but he becomes himself. The consciousness integrates, and he is himself" E/O 2:177.
Thus we are neither the collected string of our free choices nor always placed at the brink, ready by our next choice either to continue on our path or to become a new person.
By choosing himself (or herself), the individual does not "have absolute power to make himself into what it me [merely] pleases him to be: E/o 2:260 p. 13
At most, one ethically "edits" the self one is, improving its particular expression E/O 2:260"