When we refer to documents, works of art, or historical artifacts as authentic, we mean that it is the “real thing,” or that it is what it claims to be. For example, to claim that a Picasso painting is authentic, art dealers would have to determine that it was truly painted by Picasso. Similarly, in providing attest services, auditors verify that a company's financial report reflects the true state of the company's financial affairs and is therefore authentic. You can see that in all these examples, when one calls something “authentic,” one is making a truth claim. When it comes to attributing authenticity to a person, we also refer to the extent to which a person is true to himself or herself. This definition assumes ...

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