According to the OED, the first instance of the word authenticity was in 1716, in letters to Dr. Richard Bentley regarding a translation of the New Testament (cited in McDonald 2016, 226). Variations of the word authenticity, however, appear earlier: “autenticitat (probably 1343)” and “French authenticité (1557).” Definitions of authenticity include “the fact or quality of being true or in accordance with fact; veracity; correctness”; “of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine”; “made or done in the traditional or original way, or in a way that faithfully resembles an original”; and “based on facts; accurate or reliable” (OED).

Moving from religious to philosophical meanings, Kernis and Goldman claim that two aspects of “authentic functioning” are “people’s (1) self-understanding” and “(2) openness to objectively recognizing their ontological realities (e.g., evaluating their desirable and undesirable self-aspects)” (2006, 284). Sartre agrees: “Man is nothing else but that

This essay may be found on page 24 of the printed volume.

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