As Benjamin has pointed out, it is only against the modern background of endless reproducibility that the concept of authenticity becomes intelligible in the fi rst place. Therefore, it is rather unsuprising that from the beginning the idea of authenticity is accompanied by suspicion. In fact, authenticity is a characteristic locus of the modern intertwinement of desire and fear. This is especially clear in the ethical realm, which is the context within which this book addressed the issue. Because of this intertwinement, the more valueladen this ideal becomes throughout modernity, and the greater role it plays in shaping our cultural outlook, the more the suspicion grows. For this reason, while in contemporary Western societies authenticity has become one of the most infl uential ethical ideals, the greatest fear of man is now the “horror of fi nding himself to be only a copy or a replica” (Rorty 1989: 24).