In the introduction I mentioned that one of the central tasks of this book is to re-qualify the concept of authenticity. This involves both discerning an applicable nucleus from other superfl uous features that have come to muddle the picture, but also adding components so that it can be used to diagnose contemporary practices. As we shall see, such critical role is not alien to the concept. In fact, authenticiy has continuously served as a critical concept, as a measure against which particular self-relations and patterns of societal interactions can be considered distortions. In order for such critical inquiry to be possible, we must embed the concept of authenticity in the framework of critical social theory. This will enable us to broaden the reach of our investigation and to critically scrutinize contemporary practices of authenticity that are shaped by capitalistic requirements. No existing account of authenticity has paid attention to the reciprocal shaping of capitalism or embedded the concept of authenticity in the framework of a critical social theory. This makes them less attractive as tools for critical social-philosophical inquiry.