• Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    @Wallows
    @Amity

    K's dialectic, is important to understand.

    The first two terms "being" and "thought", constitute the existing subject. While the pagan/philistine stops at existence, K wants to stop at the existing subject. For K, becoming for the individual only occurs in faith, and his entire philosophy is geared towards this. But everyone seems to want to "go further": into speculative understanding, into faithlessness and knowledge, where the existing subject becomes an abstraction, no longer the "I am" but the "I am-I".
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    Never read that, but it is on my list after "Stages of Lifes Way". Any chance you have that caption on hand? In Concluding Unscientific Postscript, K writes:

    Socratically, the eternal essential truth is by no means in itself paradoxical; it is so only by relating to someone existing. This is expressed in another Socratic proposition, namely, that all knowing is recollecting[*bold added]. That proposition foreshadows the beginning of speculative thought, which is also the reason why Socrates did not pursue it. Essentially it became Platonic. Here is where the path branches off and Socrates essentially accentuates existing, while Plato, forgetting the latter, loses himself in speculation. The infinite merit of Socrates is precisely to be an existing thinker, not a speculator who forgets what it is to exist. For Socrates, therefore, the proposition that all knowing is recollecting has, at the moment of his leave-taking and as the suspended possibility of speculating, a two-fold significance: (1) that the knower is essentially integer and that there is no other anomaly concerning knowledge confronting him than that he exists, which anomaly, however, is so essential and decisive for him that it means that existing, the inward absorption in and through existing, is truth; (2) that existence in temporality has no decisive importance, since the possibility of taking oneself back into eternity through recollection is always there, even though this possibility is constantly cancelled by the time taken in inner absorption in existing.

    The unending merit of the Socratic was precisely to accentuate the fact that the knower is someone existing and that existing is what is essential. Going further through failing to understand this is but a mediocre merit. The Socratic is therefore something we must bear in mind[...]
    — Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, p173-74

    The way I interpreted it, K's philosophy considers faith and understanding to be antithetical, and in this light, he praises Socratic Ignorance.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    @Amity

    I would say that K's most significant contribution to philosophic tradition was the power of retraction (given K's disdain for speculation, combined with his indirect approach and pseudonymous authorship, he seems to be the only prominent modern philosopher who never shat where he ate.)
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    This is an appropriate example of K's dialetic.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    His views contrive greatly with modern day postmodernist thought, I think, so there is that issue to deal with in the present day and time.Wallows

    I would blame this on Nietzsche, who makes many comments that are awfully similar to K's narrative.

    K would reject postmodernism for the simple fact that it is concerned with understanding, and not with the inward passion of faith.

    (I would love to see the thread: "postmodernism vs analytic philosophy".)
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Even if we assume that anyone sees therapeutic value in philosophy, why would we even begin to point them in the direction of K ? Can we really say that K was working toward that end ?
    Why would he, if the emphasis is on faith, whatever that means for K ?
    Amity

    K was doing therapy for himself. But what he did strikes deep into the spirit of the individual, and in that sense it is relevent as therapy for others.

    (Nietzsche says he is the first psychologist. That is false, K was the first psychologist, as well as the first existentialist, although I suspect he would reject such accusations.)
  • Valentinus
    663
    The way I interpreted it, K's philosophy considers faith and understanding to be antithetical, and in this light, he praises Socratic Ignorance.Merkwurdichliebe

    Maybe it would be be helpful to compare Kierkegaard's efforts to Pascal's. Both worked to express the difference between faith and reason as ironic. Pascal said the absurdity of the Christian view was a better description of the human condition than more logically consistent structures. That is an example of presenting the matter as antithesis.

    But Kierkegaard is doing something different. The thing called faith is never given.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    But Kierkegaard is doing something different. The thing called faith is never given.Valentinus

    I am not acquainted much will Pascal. But I'm willing to hear his contribution to the topic as you will present it.

    K said that faith was unintelligible, and to communicate it was to speak in tongues
  • Valentinus
    663

    K said that faith was unintelligible, and to communicate it was to speak in tonguesMerkwurdichliebe

    Yes, but he also went to great efforts to relate our experiences to a breaking point. That experience of ourselves is only information under certain conditions. He continues to reason about that.
  • Zosito
    18

    Philosophy helps you acquire facts about the world? i.e it helps you see "what the world is like factually"?
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    That experience of ourselves is only information under certain conditions. He continues to reason about that.Valentinus

    Of ourselves? How about myself, or yourself? If your self does not find importance in what Kierkegaard says, what Kierkegaard says is bullshit, and why would you care what he says? He only reasons about his thoughts, he requires nothing of no one, other than himself, obviously.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    @Valentinus

    (Ok, sorry I was being reactionary.)

    I retract what I said. Instead, I say: Under the existential constant that Kierkegaard posits, the subset variables that he enumerates are sufficient, so that he can reason about his disdain for speculation, as paradoxical as it is.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Philosophy helps you acquire facts about the world? i.e it helps you see "what the world is like factually"?Zosito

    I respectfully disagree. It can justify your belief in facts, but not help in the in their acquisition. And it helps you understand what the world is, rationally, not factually. But that is digression off the OP.
  • Wallows
    10.1k
    I'm going to designate this thread as a place where we can talk about Fear and Trembling or alternatively about K's Concept of Anxiety.

    I hope more members can join us.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    I'm going to designate this thread as a place where we can talk about Fear and Trembling or alternatively about K's Concept of Anxiety.Wallows

    :up:
  • Zosito
    18
    I agree with you. That is why I asked Terrapin Station to clarify his position, for it seems to me he asserted that the purpose of Philosophy is to gain more knowledge about "what the world is like factually" and thus philosophical writings cannot be used in a therapeutic manner.

    I hold that they can be, and often are and have been, used in such a manner. In helping you "understand what the world is, rationally", they can radically change your belief system, the way you think, help you see things more clearly. They can help you "better yourself".
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k

    It is not my desire to use big words in speaking about the Age as a whole. However, you can hardly deny that the reason for its anxiety and unrest is because in one direction, “truth” increases in scope and in quantity – via science and technology – while in the other, certainty and confidence steadily decline. Our age is a master in developing truths while being wholly indifferent to certitude[...]Eternity is a very radical thought, and thus a matter of inwardness. Whenever the reality of the eternal is affirmed, the present becomes something entirely different from what it was apart from it. This is precisely why human beings fear it (under the guise of fearing death). You often hear about particular governments that fear the restless elements of society. I prefer to say that the entire Age is a tyrant that lives in fear of the one restless element: the thought of eternity. It does not dare to think it. Why? Because it crumbles under – and avoids like anything – the weight of inwardness — Kierkegaard, CA
    .
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    Nice! :wink:

    Now you and me can talk Kierkegaard. :nerd:
  • Amity
    946
    Even if we assume that anyone sees therapeutic value in philosophy, why would we even begin to point them in the direction of K ? Can we really say that K was working toward that end ?
    Why would he, if the emphasis is on faith, whatever that means for K ?
    — Amity

    K was doing therapy for himself. But what he did strikes deep into the spirit of the individual, and in that sense it is relevent as therapy for others.

    (Nietzsche says he is the first psychologist. That is false, K was the first psychologist, as well as the first existentialist, although I suspect he would reject such accusations.)
    Merkwurdichliebe

    Thanks for answering this question. I thought it had been missed in the ongoing conversation.
    I will follow this now with interest. Careful, informative exchanges with others are much appreciated.
  • Amity
    946
    K said that faith was unintelligible, and to communicate it was to speak in tongues
    — Merkwurdichliebe

    Yes, but he also went to great efforts to relate our experiences to a breaking point. That experience of ourselves is only information under certain conditions. He continues to reason about that.
    Valentinus

    Again, thanks for continued clarification of Kierkegaard.
    I will be following this conversation wherever it might lead. However, I have a certain book to attend to.
    I now know where to come with any questions or difficulties. Or comments as to finding any of the joy you referred to earlier. Cheers.
  • Amity
    946
    I asked Terrapin Station to clarify his position, for it seems to me he asserted that the purpose of Philosophy is to gain more knowledge about "what the world is like factually" and thus philosophical writings cannot be used in a therapeutic manner.

    I hold that they can be, and often are and have been, used in such a manner. In helping you "understand what the world is, rationally", they can radically change your belief system, the way you think, help you see things more clearly. They can help you "better yourself".
    Zosito

    Appreciate you getting back to TS. I was a bit dismissive in my earlier response, wanting to focus and get on with the purpose of the thread's OP.
    I think many come to philosophy as a way to understand what the hell is going on. It is this curiosity, I think, that TS speaks of. Some try to figure stuff out on their own, searching in a variety of boxes until they find what suits them.

    In philosophy there is so much to choose from and it's not an either/or between K's aesthetics, ethics or religion. However, this is where we are - discussing the OP. Some clearly see therapeutic value in K, others not so much. The latter have a voice too.
    It would offer a good balance to hear views from non-fans of K. Or those who have tried and struggled with his writing.

    Have you read any of K's work ?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    Philosophy helps you acquire facts about the world? i.e it helps you see "what the world is like factually"?Zosito

    Yes, and I'd have zero interest in it otherwise.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    Anytime.

    One more thing you'll find out about K, is that, unlike most other philosophers, his writing is very intense. His books: 'Fear and Trembling', 'Sickness Unto Death', and 'Purity of Heart' are prime examples.
  • Amity
    946
    his writing is very intense.Merkwurdichliebe

    Yes. My preparation for reading has included looking at this intensity and from where it sprang.
    Given, as you say, that K wrote as therapy for self, for me that means looking at his life.

    K was doing therapy for himself. But what he did strikes deep into the spirit of the individual, and in that sense it is relevent as therapy for others.Merkwurdichliebe

    I agree that there is the possibility that a reader might find solace, or joy, in the sharing. A better understanding of what it is to be human perhaps? The decisions we make and take. For better or worse.
    The anxiety some might have of getting it right...for self as well as others.

    Like K's choice to break off his engagement with Regine. The defining event of his life.

    As C.S. Lewis didn't say but could have::'We read to know that we are not alone.'
    That actually comes from Shadowlands, a film about C.S. Lewis.

    So, thought I'd share this book review by Ray Monk - ' Kierkegaard's ways to be human'

    https://www.newstatesman.com/2019/03/Kierkegaard-philosopher-of-the-heart-clare-carlisle-review

    'Carlisle’s analysis of Fear and Trembling contains the essence of her view of Kierkegaard’s life and work. It is fascinating, but, in my view, unsatisfying. The book centres on the story told in Genesis 22 in which God commands Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a test of his faith...
    ...Kierkegaard agrees with Kant that the sacrificing of Isaac is morally wrong, but he draws from this the conclusion that what the story shows is that religious faith lies beyond, and therefore outside, ethics. 


    ...Either/Or. This is a weird compendium of different texts, written by four fictitious authors, that includes letters, essays, a sermon, and, most notoriously, the “Seducer’s Diary”, that we are to imagine having been written, not by Kierkegaard, but by “Johannes”. In this diary, Johannes chronicles in great detail his pursuit of a young girl, whom he seduces and then abandons, remarking, “I am intoxicated with the thought that she is in my power.” According to Carlisle, Kierkegaard saw the book as part of “his attempt to feign callous indifference to Regine”.

    ...Kierkegaard was not indifferent to her, he was madly, obsessively in love with her and remained so for the rest of his life. So why did he break off the engagement? The answer, Carlisle suggests, lies in Fear and Trembling, for the story of Kierkegaard’s engagement to Regine is in some respects analogous to the story of Abraham. Kierkegaard, Carlisle says, “feels he has sacrificed a life with Regine, and with it his own honour and his family’s good name, for the sake of something that is difficult to explain”.

    ----------

    Monk's final paragraph is highly critical:

    ' I think many people, even if they do not disapprove of the way Kierkegaard behaved towards Regine, would resist the theological spin that he and Carlisle put on his decision to break off his engagement. It is a fault of this book that Carlisle seems unaware that the person she presents as providing deep solutions to the problems of life would just as naturally be viewed as insufferably self-absorbed, as obsessed with his own sufferings as he is indifferent to those of others.'
    ----------

    About intensity and Regine

    '...Her father told him that she was “in despair, utterly desperate”,
    while she, according to his account, :

    “took out a small note on which there was something written by me which she used to carry in her breast; she took it out and quietly tore it into small pieces and said:

    ‘ So after all, you have played a terrible game with me.’

    ----------

    Intensity: can be a high degree of emotional excitement, depth of feeling. Or great energy of thought, inward passion or obsession...or anxiety. It will be fascinating to read what K has to say for himself.
    But still, a doubt will remain as to how much of it is playing a game...
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k


    To begin, I noticed you referencing the interpretations of others. Reading what another says about Kierkegaard is not the same as reading him directly. His words have an effect, and in no writer prior to him are you presented with that which is known as, "stream of consciousness". He is truly a madman.

    (There is more . . .)
  • Amity
    946
    Reading what another says about Kierkegaard is not the same as reading him directly.Merkwurdichliebe

    I know that.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Intensity: can be a high degree of emotional excitement, depth of feeling. Or great energy of thought, inward passion or obsession...or anxiety. It will be fascinating to read what K has to say for himself.
    But still, a doubt will remain as to how much of it is playing a game...
    Amity

    He is quite adamant about "seriousness". He speaks of it repeatedly. But his "shit talking" is on par with Nietzsche, so I can get why his seriousness can be doubted.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k

    I know you know that. But I said it anyway. :grin:
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    But still, a doubt will remain as to how much of it is playing a game...Amity

    I also must point out that he regarded all his writing as a thought experiment, so in a way, everything he said was indeed a game.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Like K's choice to break off his engagement with Regime. The defining event of his life.Amity

    That is definitely a defining moment for K. But, it propelled him to do something very unique, to publish ideas that focus your attention back upon yourself. Something rarely done in modern philosophy.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.