Philosophy and the nature of the authentic
Authors: Beer, S.
In this reflection I examine the nature of philosophy with particular respect to theconcept of authenticity and attempt to develop an analytical framework for the study of authenticity. There is an initial problem with such an undertaking and that is the definition of authenticity. In simple terms we can consider the authentic to be something that conforms tofact, something that can be trusted, believed and relied upon, that is genuine. This argumentcan, however, prove to be circular. After all, what is a fact? How do we define or construct‘facts’? This analysis looks initially at the development of analytical philosophy with a focus on ideas relating to existence. I conclude that the actual nature of facts/existence is a component of, but does not explain, authenticity. This leads on to a discussion of the nature of more embedded perspectives, a characteristic of what is sometimes called the Continental School of philosophy. This involves an overview of concepts such as existentialism, modernism, structuralism, post-structuralism and post-modernism. I then draw a range of conclusions and propose a way forward.