"Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all....To be a particular individual is world-historically absolutely nothing, infinitely nothing -- and yet, this is the only true and highest significance of a human being, so much higher as to make every other significance illusory....If initially my human nature is merely an abstract something, it is at any rate the task which life sets me to become subjective, the uncertaintly of death comes more and more to interpenetrate my subjectivity dialectically. It thus becomes more and more important for me to think it in connection with evey factor and phase of my life; for since the uncertaintly is there in every moment, it can be overcome only by overcoming it in every moment....An objective uncertaintly held fast in an appropriation-process of the most passionate inwardness is the truth, the highest truth attainable for an existing individual...All knowledge about reality is possibility.  The only reality to which an existing individual may have a relation that is more than cognitive, is his own reality, the fact that he exists; this reality constitutes his absolute interest. Abstract thought requires him to become disinterested in order to acquire knowledge; the ethical demand is that he become infinitely interested in existing....For an abstract thinker to try to prove his existence by the fact that he thinks, is a curious contradiction; for in the degree that he thinks abstractly he abstracts from his own existence."
                                                                                                        - Soren Kierkegaard

On Kierkegaard

Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish writer known for his literature which broadly encompassed the humanities, including philosophy, psychology, theology, literary criticism and fiction. As a young man, Kierkegaard devoured all the books he could get his hands on; an appetite which cost him his inheritance. Kierkegaard began writing upon the break-up of his relationship to Regine Olsen, his fiancee; in fact, much of his early writing is an attempt to come to terms with his decision not to marry Regine. Kierkegaard's brilliant work would gain him fame, for the most part, as the "father of existentialism," the 20th century movement influenced by his thought. The existentialists share with Kierkegaard a distrust of "the crowd" over and against the authentic individual.

Kierkegaard is known as the "father of existentialism," in fact, for a variety of reasons. A devout Christian, Kierkegaard was bitterly and unrelentingly critical of the church of his day, lashing out at the "crowd" for their forgetfulness of what it means to exist. By 'exist,' Kierkegaard specifically meant human existence, as opposed to God or things. What is characteristic of human beings for Kierkegaard is that we stand out as responsible individuals who must make free choices. The deepest "inwardness" of the human being is the place of passionate choice wherein one must take a "leap of faith" despite one's finitude, the fact that we can never know with certainly the outcome of our choices despite our accountability for them.


International Kierkegaard Information
D. Anthony Storm's Website on Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard on the Internet
The Kierkegaarden
Kin's Kierkegaard Page
Kierkegaard at the Evolution of Philosophy
Realm of Existentialism on Kierkegaard
Existentialism and Beyond on Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard in the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy
Kierkegaard's biography at Bjorn's site
Kierkegaard's biography by Garth Kemerling
Kierkegaard's biography at The Window
Soren Kierkegaard at Society of Australia
"The Distancing of Author and Intention" by Matt Carpenter
"Willed Faith and Belief - an Essay on Kierkegaard" by Christine Jewell
"Comments on Kierkegaard's 'Eternal Happiness, Subjectivity, and Truth'" by Scott H. Moore
"Summary and Comments on Kierkegaard's 'Diary of a Seducer'" by Scott H. Moore
"Words of Love" by Charles L. Creegan
"Kierkegaard's Relations with Postmodernism and Feminism" by Charles Creegan
"Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard" by Charles Creegan
"Kierkegaard's Ecclesiology" by Charles Creegan
"Kierkegaard: Truth is Subjectivity and Beware of the Crowd" by Gordon L. Ziniewicz
"Marx's  Criticism of Feuerbach and Its Application to Kierkegaard" by Kevin Davids
"Kierkegaard and Radical Disciplineship: A New Perspective" by Vernard Eller
"The Simple Life" by Vernard Eller
Kierkegaard bookshelf at Episteme Links
Kierkegaard Discussion Lists


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