The Mind of Kierkegaard

The Mind of Kierkegaard

Copyright Date: 1983
Pages: 330
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  • Book Info
    The Mind of Kierkegaard
    Book Description:

    This introductory overview of Kierkegaard's writings summarizes their central arguments and places them in their historical context.

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5363-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    James Collins
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  4. Chapter One Kierkegaard the Man
    (pp. 1-32)

    FAR more has been established with certainty about the public life of Kierkegaard than about his intellectual development. For every well-charted step in his social relations, there are ten steps taken in his interior life which still remain obscure to us. His biography is, however, a dramatic one chiefly from the standpoint of the clash of spiritual values. We are fortunate in having at our disposal some excellent biographies and Kierkegaard’s own revealingJournals. These sources tell us about the manner of man Kierkegaard was, and—inevitably, in the case of one who lived so intense an inner existence—they...

  5. Chapter Two The Spheres of Existence and the Romantic Outlook
    (pp. 33-65)

    THE first phase of Kierkegaard’s serious authorship comprises a group of books which appeared in rapid succession during the years 1843 to 1845, and to which he gave the common designation of “esthetic works.” ¹ That they were composed so closely together and with such intensity, is due mainly to the part which some of them played in the events following on his broken engagement with Regine Olsen. There was equal pressure exerted upon him, however, by his desire to speak his mind to his contemporaries concerning some disputed issues. He had in distant view his disturbing thoughts about the...

  6. Chapter Three The Ethical View and Its Limits
    (pp. 66-97)

    THE book upon which Kierkegaard expected his literary reputation to rest and the one, in fact, which does win the favor of contemporary readers most readily isFear and Trembling. In the subtitle, he announces that the book is to be regarded as “a dialectical lyric.” Its dialectical preoccupations reach out in two directions: it contains an examination of the Hegelian claim to have surpassed Christian faith through the new philosophical synthesis, and it makes a criticism of the ethical form of existence. Our concern here is mainly with the second of these dialectical discussions, and the first noteworthy point...

  7. Chapter Four The Attack upon Hegelianism
    (pp. 98-136)

    IN THIS chapter and the following one, an analysis is made of the books which Kierkegaard himself designated as his “philosophical works”:Philosophical Fragments, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Fragments, and the Introduction to his psychological study onThe Concept of Dread. The importance of this group of books lies in its critique of the reigning philosophy of Hegel and its preliminary sketch of a new theory of existence, as religiously orientated. Only the first or negative aspect will be taken now, reserving an analysis of Kierkegaard’s theory of existence for the following chapter. These books have occupied the...

  8. Chapter Five The Meaning of Existence
    (pp. 137-174)

    BOTH sound instinct and the turn of Hegelian philosophy incline Kierkegaard to make a close association between existence and truth. He takes as his point of departure the classical definition of truth asadaequatio mentis et rei, the conformity between mind and thing.¹ The standard of conformity can be either thought or being. But whereas classical philosophy distinguishes in this way between ontological and logical truth, Kierkegaard holds that the distinction is between an idealistic view of truth (conformity of thing to mind) and an empirical view (conformity of mind to thing). His opposition to Hegel leads him to criticize...

  9. Chapter Six The Nature of the Human Individual
    (pp. 175-207)

    KIERKEGAARD’S position concerning the individual person won him bitter notoriety in his own day, furnished a model for Ibsen’s Dr. Stockmann—the protagonist inAn Enemy of the People—and has continued until now to provide a basis for the customary charge of excessive individualism. It is one of the two most important stands of his mature years, the other being his critique of the ecclesiastical establishment in Denmark. The controversy which the doctrine of the individual has aroused, often prevents rather than aids an understanding and fair appraisal of his mind. This is particularly unfortunate, because of its crucial...

  10. Chapter Seven Becoming a Christian in Christendom
    (pp. 208-240)

    ALL roads in Kierkegaard lead to the tableland of religious existence. After following his investigations in various fields of secular concern, we are brought to a standstill, unless we are willing to probe into the religious implications of his previous findings. His thought derives whatever cohesion and texture it possesses from this persistent orientation. It justifies his lifelong study of Hegelianism, Romanticism, moralism, and socialism; for all these can be viewed as the prevalent misinterpretations of, or substitutes for, religion and the life of the spirit.

    Kierkegaard listened attentively to the replies formulated by his contemporaries, in answer to Kant’s...

  11. Chapter Eight Kierkegaard and Christian Philosophy
    (pp. 241-268)

    KIERKEGAARD gave a good deal of thought to the fate of his own lifework and reputation, at the hands of posterity. He wanted to avoid scholarly embalmment and discourage the growth of a Kierkegaardian cult, but on both counts his wishes were denied him. Minute scholars and enthusiasts have found him a fair subject for their attentions. There is certainly room for both scholarship and enthusiasm in any assessment of his mind and personality. But if these qualities are divorced from critical independence of outlook, they serve only to betray him and give us a false impression. Kierkegaard could never...

  12. Bibliographical Note and Supplement
    (pp. 269-276)
  13. Bibliographical Note (1983)
    (pp. 277-282)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 283-310)
  15. Index
    (pp. 311-314)