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Authenticity: Kierkegaard, Brittingham, Klosterman Essay

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Updated: Jun 3rd, 2021


Authenticity has emerged as a philosophical concept that many scholars have examined from different perspectives. Although the idea defines something whose authorship or origin is unquestionable, analyzing it as a human characteristic remains complicated. This paper examines the idea of authenticity by focusing on Kierkegaard’s views and relating them to those of John Brittingham and Chuck Klosterman. It goes further to describe whether any person is capable of becoming authentic.

Kierkegaard’s Idea of Authenticity

Kierkegaard’s analysis of authenticity is influenced by his stance towards the reality of the global society. Human beings who become functions or placeholders of their respective communities eventually join the masses. This malpractice results in defiance, denial, spiritlessness, and despair (Klausen 22). Using such kind of knowledge, this philosopher argues that individuals should be allowed to understand themselves in relational terms. This means that they should be ready to impart some form of identity to their experiences and life courses.

The ultimate process of an individual becoming what he or she means having a passionate commitment to something that is capable of introducing some meaning or consciousness. According to him, people can establish an outstanding relationship with God since He is the true source of diachronic coherence (Klausen 41). Any human being who promotes passionate care for something that is outside will benefit from the power of narrative unity. This is what Kierkegaard believes the notion of authenticity to be.

Chuck Klosterman: Reasons and Arguments

The studied articles indicate that Chuck Klosterman met the real Bono. From the presented work, the reader is introduced to the life of this celebrity as he accelerates his car and relates positively with other people. Throughout the story, the author reveals that Bono is proud of himself and capable of listening to others. For instance, he stops on the road to sign young people’s autographs. He also takes young people for a ride and plays new songs to them (Klosterman 23). The reader is convinced that from the presented article that described Bono is real and loves all his fans.

The information presented in the story appears authentic and tries to expose the true character of this U2 musician. The narrator presents him as a man who is willing to do anything for all people. The presented testimony by Klosterman is unquestionable since it tries to give a true picture of Bono as someone who appears to attain authenticity in his life (Klosterman 25). Despite being famous and rich, Bono does not maintain any distance between himself and his followers.

The narration confirms that Bono is a human being who is aware of his roles in society and who he is. Bono is always ready to do things for himself and remain central to his life. He is always talkative and willing to engage others and respond to the questions they raise (Klosterman 29). It is evident that the information presented in the article, “Mysterious Days” shows that its author managed to interview the real Bono. The narration is also critical since it portrays the image of an individual who has managed to remain authentic despite the fact that he is a famous musician.

Is Anyone Capable of Being Authentic?

Many philosophers and scholars embrace or support the idea of authenticity since it empowers people to address most of the challenges they face. However, it is usually hard for specific individuals to lead a genuine or real life. The concept of authenticity revolves around the ability to remain true or committed to oneself without the need to copy others (Klausen 74). With this kind of information, it is notable that any person is capable of achieving this goal in life, including famous persons.

The above sections present evidence-based ideas that any individual can follow or consider to remain genuine or authentic. For instance, the concepts Kierkegaard offers are applicable in the life of any individual. This is true since human beings can do what is right and follow their religious values or beliefs. This practice can make it possible for any person to establish a new form of identity and avoid becoming a placeholder of his or her society. Additionally, the life of Bono acts as a powerful model or case study for any individual who wants to become authentic. The most important thing is avoiding external influence, doing what is right, and overcoming the temptations associated with fame and riches (Brittingham 112). The most important thing is to have an intrinsic urge or drive and eventually remain real or true to oneself.


The above discussion has revealed that authenticity is a complex issue that remains unavailable to many people. This happens to be the case since many individuals are always willing to act in accordance with the established social norms or practices. Human beings can, therefore, pursue authenticity by putting examining Kierkegaard’s ideas and emulating the life of Bono. Those who achieve such objectives will lead-free and contented lives and eventually achieve their potential.

Works Cited

Brittingham, John T. “Celebrity as the Sickness to Death.” Chuck Klosterman and Philosophy: The Real and the Cereal, edited by Seth Vannatta, Carus Publishing Company, 2012, pp. 99-115.

Klausen, Søren H. Søren Kierkegaard: Educating for Authenticity. Springer Shop, 2018.

Klosterman, Chuck. Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas. Scribner, 2006.

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