Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos


  • Jasmin DittmarEmail author
  • Michael Dellwing
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_22-1



Authenticity as an aesthetic category implies an internal state of the individual as a source of originality and uniqueness that can be expressed to the outside (Bohn and Hahn 1999, p. 51). The ideal of authenticity demands that human beings search for their own identity within themselves and articulate it (Taylor 1995, p. 93). Authenticity as an ideal is connected to social developments that arise in the twentieth century: individualization and social differentiation. These pave the way for ideas of personal authenticity as a main topic of modern identity conceptions.

A Key Concept of Modern Identity

Authenticity is not an isolated ideal, but stands within a narrow connection, within the history of ideas, with the ideal of autonomy as mindful self-determination (Wetzel 1985, p. 7). As a term relating to the individual, authenticity first appears in the Romance era, which sees its apex in the eighteenth and...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.University of KasselKasselGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Scott Grills
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada