if any one can spare a few minutes of their time, i want you to share your definition of authenticity with me for a piece of creative non-fiction i am in the process of writing. don’t worry about if it is wordy, gaudy, prophetic, lamentable, clever, funny, whatever, anything will help. the more honest it is the better as i want to gauge public perception of it. think about objects, tradition, the modern world, the ancient world, their similarities & differences, think experience with food, things, people, clothes, culture, books, politics, literature, society, travel, education, absolutely anything that comes to mind about authenticity.

much obliged.

Posted by:DPM

DPM is an idea-logue (sic) and object-oriented speculative realist, attempting to be response-able in an irresponse-able society.

24 thoughts on “your definition of ‘authenticity’

      1. here is a link to part of Platos Republic…further down the page he begins to explain the relationship between objects and those objects in their shadows (the cave)
        He had a notion that all form must have been created by god, the good, hence there was one true form, often out of sight from people. This can be considered a form of autheniticity. Worth reading more than just a samll link maybe.
        Aristotle had na interesting approach (almost as response) where he discusses Substance…i.e individual substance , primary substance and so on.
        Somewhere between these two I had an idea of authenticity (though I must admit, writing in a comments box leaves very little room to exlain further ) hope this was a help *

      2. i wonder how this will relate to a persons personal experience of authenticity though, as most people don’t know of the pursuit toward entelechy or even much about Plato & Aristotle.
        i am sure god though as the creator of authenticity would be comfortable to the religious, but then everything is in essence authentic, would you agree?

      3. yes, everything is authentic in ‘fact’ it is what its is. But it is never free of judgement. Platos and others aside, it was a thought of what authentic insired, before too many man made inventions. The meaning of the word itself may have changed? Evolved. Authentic is personal maybe. There are forms of authentic, in essence and structure. Much like difference between intuition and information?

  1. I think any position i take is influenced by life. Any belief i have influences this, but language is also something i believe in. Words such as Authentic, to me, has more than one notion which is given it by essence or structure. Behind any of these are other lines of language, especially ‘essence’.

    1. fantastic reply. yes language is what we are left with, not so much left with, what with have at our immediate disposal. it is almost as if to say is to create & thus authenticity is at the mercy of this as much many things in life. language is being : being is language as Heidegger put it. i find this very hard to disentangle from. it is one constant in the chaos of life. so authenticity is flexible because of language, is what you are saying, just to be clear?

  2. yes, to a certain extent it is flexible, just as it is restrained. We give it the potential for each side of the spectrum in accordance to our interpretation at its time. It is often a barier i find, because in each language, faith, philosophy, culture, education, beliefs etc are governed by the origins and interpretation of the word.
    What is authentic essence experince cannot be argued, or disputed from na outsider source other than who is experiencing. Whereas through auhtentic substance, as a tangible, for example, can be more openly disputed

    1. so on one side there are the protectors of traditions (authenticity) who are restrained by their traditions, like religious people who must follow the customs of their religion, which creates restraints (usually on women) on the followers & protectors of the tradition. this is indisputable. who would you say are the people that are breaking with traditional, authentic customs? & do you agree or disagree with it?

      1. Religion and other ideologies…like a tree and it’s branches. Authentic may be the seed and interpretation the growth

      2. No, even right and wrong are relative. Consequence is after thought often seen in negative light but is positive also

  3. The quest for authentic; Seeds, one tangible one not. Both planted both grow. The tangible is harder to dispute as it grows with structure we cannot mimic, though our notions of it be different. The seed of essence grows all the time being adapted to suit ideologies. One physical one not. (Certain philosophies argue both sides, but I’m trying not to stray off) .

    1. so you see authenticity as a duality? a sort of traditional authenticity that remains constant & a parallel authenticity constructed on the traditional authenticity but which adapt when something interferes with it? i may or may not be repeating you, but i am just trying to clarify as your comment is very helpful to me.

  4. Authenticity, proverbial can of worms. Where does one start in this quest for meaning? Do we represent authenticity as an exercise in logic using P and Not P (my keyboard has not key for negation so it must be an inauthentic logic keyboard). We now have two states of existence, both of which need further defining. We could turn to Plato and talk about forms and comparison, that is, how close does the real world come to the ideal. But that assumes an ideal world really exists, something theologians have argued for a great many centuries and are no closer to proving except by an act of faith. We may read about an authentic god thus showing that authenticity has something to do with faith or at least believing.

    What about this real physical world, this world dominated by science. We need not accept the law of gravity on faith for we find it authentic, it always works as advertised. Would it lose its authenticity if suddenly objects stopped falling down? Or would we look for the reason why such a law of physics has stopped working. Perhaps the problem is one of perception, that there really are no laws of physics in the way we normally understand the concept of law. What does this do to our concept of authenticity?

    Perhaps we should explore the world of objects where we seek to establish the authenticity of a painting or a signature or a piece of furniture. We call in experts to give evidence and opinion. Without those who actually painted the picture, signed the document or made the piece of furniture we have only the reliance on experts to guide our faith in the belief that those objects are authentic. Is there a difference between this faith and a religious one?

    Finally we come to that world of ideas and personalities. We may call a man authentic if his actions always match his words. He may be a saint or a sinner but as long as he is true to himself he must be authentic. On the other hand we do have those who insist that authenticity comes from a higher form of existence. That one transcends the worldly and inauthentic beingness and becomes authentic and one with the cosmos. Back to religion again. Actually, it’s a matter of belief. That is what authenticity truly represents, a belief that something, be it object, concept, or ideal, exists and is as advertised.

    1. it is a can of worms, but not one that need be problematic, as i see it.
      when i started this, i started it in ignorance, ignorance of what authenticity was because i hadn’t really developed my thinking on it, like many topics, concepts, but this one just seemed to be the one i chose.
      i was pretty much in agreement with myself that it wasn’t a word that could be pigeon holed into a definition & i think i am comfortable saying that is correct. the meaning bends like the moth to the imploring flame.
      as you have shown above with acute erudition, there are many things to consider & what we end up with is something that is “a matter of belief”. authenticity is much like Hazlitt’s view of taste or Santayana’s principles of aesthetic sensibility. there must be pliability else so much is to be ignored. would you say it is how someone chooses to see?
      if you say authenticity is only what the physical world presents in a particular way that a minor percentage of the population can understand i.e. scientists, then that just seems difficult to accept (i realize you are not saying this), because gravity is not an equation to me, gravity can best be explained to me with the dropping of an object. but the equation is an authentic reality to scientists, it expresses gravity fully to them. it may be said i am an idiot, because i can’t understand the equation that expresses gravity, perhaps that is correct, but it doesn’t consider that i can experience gravity & understand the existence of it from another angle.
      people’s belief’s can be argued against, but if they believe it becomes a reality to them, something authentic. it is fashionable to buy wooden Buddha’s, which i have seen in Ikea. people feel they are deeper, more reflective for the presence of that Buddha, how can i say it isn’t an authentic feeling?
      i am grateful for your input. i am hoping to take all this & write something about it. i am thinking a dialogue, a dialogue, mingled with short essay passages.

      1. Language has a great deal of power and it also has a great deal of idiocy. It is not a perfect medium of expression and never will be. Mathematics and symbolic logic can be used to express exactness but each has flaws in those expressions that lead to falseness. And neither one can describe that vague generality we take for granted every day. You may recall Carroll’s character, Humpty Dumpty saying, “Words mean exactly what I want them to mean, no more and no less. The question is, who is the master, me or the words.” This is the error of the new masters of political correctness. There are trade-offs between the exact and the relative. Each has its use. Some words have, by their nature, an exactness but many are steeped in the relative, the many references and uses. Thus one can take courses and read books on semantics, for even within the framework of language, grammar meaning changes. Throw in semiotics and now we are eyeball deep in the murkiness of language. Add in personal perspective and now we are between the devil and the deep blue sea.

        As to gravity, don’t feel too bad, even scientists don’t fully understand it. It is the only “force” that acts at a distance. Yes, we may think of the gravitational field as a rubber blanket where less dense objects roll towards more dense objects but that begs the question of what causes them to roll in the first place.

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