Comments

  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    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.
    Merkwurdichliebe

    Some TPF members speculating about K and Regine, here:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/1480/kierkegaard-and-regine-olsens-love/p1
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Reading what another says about Kierkegaard is not the same as reading him directly.Merkwurdichliebe

    I know that.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    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...
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    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 ?
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    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.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    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.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Seeking advice on approach to reading Kierkegaard if one has no religious beliefs.
    Can we still find value, or wisdom, as in e.g. the Serenity Prayer by bracketing out the 'God' word ?

    [God ] grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    We can see the benefit of the advice without any reliance on a God figure.

    Or would we still want to think of what it means to have a certain kind of faith ?

    The abstract below tells us about K's insights into anxiety and despair which have influenced certain psychotherapists with some ignoring the 'religious stuff'.

    'What can therapists learn from Kierkegaard ?'
    - Lippitt, John

    The author argues against this ignoring.
    The final sentence might appeal to those reflecting on contentment and self-acceptance.

    https://uhra.herts.ac.uk/handle/2299/18081

    'Why should therapists read Søren Kierkegaard? In our largely secular age, in which the latest generation of religion’s “cultured despisers” often seem to speak for the cultural mainstream, what has psychotherapy to learn from an unorthodox nineteenth century Lutheran with an uncompromising view of the importance of a proper “God-relationship”?

    There can be no denying the influence of Kierkegaard on important psychotherapeutic figures as diverse as Ludwig Binswanger, Rollo May, Carl Rogers and Ernest Becker. His insightful diagnoses of anxiety and despair have been a significant influence on existential psychotherapy. As one therapist recently told me, Kierkegaard is a source of great insight provided we “ignore the religious stuff”.

    Yet therapists who insist on taking their Kierkegaard safely secularised are missing a trick. In this article, I shall argue that it is in some of his less well-known, explicitly “religious” writings, that Kierkegaard offers some of his most important insights for therapeutic practice. I have argued elsewhere (in my Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-Love) that Kierkegaard offers a rich conception of “proper self-love” that I believe has important implications for therapy.

    Central to this account is the application to ourselves of the trust, hope and forgiveness that are central to his accounts of love of God and neighbour. But here I shall concentrate primarily on a perhaps surprising theme from this famous diagnostician of anxiety and despair: what the reflections on “the lilies and the birds” in Kierkegaard’s Upbuilding Discourses can teach us about contentment and self-acceptance and their relation to gratitude and patience.'
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Yes, I suppose I haven't read enough Kierkegaard. My apologies.Wallows

    Thanks, I like to be clear- all the better to see another's perspective. I find this interesting.
    What have you read so far ?
    Will you be reading ' The Concept of Anxiety ' ?

    [ edited to add ]
    Even if you haven't read enough Kierkegaard to support that strong claim, would I be right in saying that you think reading K might offer some therapeutic value ?

    BTW, no need to apologise if it's about not reading enough of K. Who has ?
    However, I appreciate an apology regarding misreading or misrepresentation - only if it is followed by a change. Do not let it happen again or I will have your head :100: :party: :naughty: :halo:
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Depends on the philosopherWallows

    Well, here we are talking about Kierkegaard. The question concerned your misreading or misrepresentation of my words as a strong claim:

    As Amity has said, there is considerable therapeutic value to be found in Kierkegaard's work.Wallows

    You seemed to be in agreement with this.

    So I asked,
    If so, can you say what have you read or absorbed that might support it ?Amity

    I meant anything you have found in Kierkegaard's work where you have found therapeutic value, considerable or otherwise. [ edited ]
    This would be a minimal requirement to support such a claim.
    Perhaps this is asking too much.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    If you haven't read him then you need to begin to do so. You will see the charge he puts on you as an existing subject. His perspective is, in many ways, insurmountable.Merkwurdichliebe

    I will be starting on 'The Concept of Anxiety' soon.
    I will generously share any difficulties or questions I may have with others.
    Be prepared to be so used :wink:

    In the meantime, I would be interested to hear your views on the questions posed in the OP.
    Also, what do you see as his perspective and why would it be insurmountable ?

    probably the most underrated philosopher of all time, maybe after Diogenes.Merkwurdichliebe

    Why do you think that is the case ? I am interested because I have a theory that many here have Wittgenstein or Nietzsche as their favourite. Kierkegaard is barely mentioned. I think due to the religious aspect.

    I am not entirely thrilled at the the subtitle ' A Simple Psychologically Orientated Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin'.
    However, it still intrigues me...

    Appreciate your input.
  • The N word
    ,..they called them as they did because they reminded some redneck of how black men's heads looked and so he and Bubba coined the term and they laughed their cracker ass heads off. Apparently the name got passed down through the generations like their crossed eyes and webbed toes and it fell upon your ears and you got to share it with us.Hanover

    The term was used in a US governmental geological survey, 1886. See p15.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/28/report.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwia5vLD2JHiAhUgRBUIHc8QCcgQFjAFegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw2iUsYUZjxMSrN6PWKCMAtg
  • The N word
    There's an old name for them that nobody uses anymore because it had the n-word in it. As far as I know, there isn't a new word, though. The last time I heard someone try to speak about them, they just pointed and said "those."

    That is the power of a social wound.
    frank

    Or a lack of imagination.
  • The N word
    You checked off the box on government forms indicating whether you were white or colored. Use of the term colored now makes you sound painfully ignorant, but not necessary racist, but likely holding less than progressive views.Hanover

    Yes, I think that I tend to hesitate before any description for fear of causing offence or not being up-to-date. One wants to be right, doesn't one? Unless you are left !

    Throughout this discussion, it seems that 'black' and 'white' are the preferred adjectives placed before the noun 'person' or the collective 'people'. Perhaps in the real world we could simply ask people how they prefer to be described - when or if it even matters. Subjective self-identification.

    UK governmental forms have changed to take into account changing views and acceptability.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classification_of_ethnicity_in_the_United_Kingdom

    '...User consultation undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the purpose of planning the 2011 census in England and Wales found that most of the respondents from all ethnic groups that took part in the testing felt comfortable with the use of the terms "Black" and "White".

    However, some participants suggested that these colour terms were confusing and unacceptable, did not adequately describe an individual's ethnic group, did not reflect his or her true skin colour, and were stereotypical and outdated terms.The heading "Black or Black British", which was used in 2001, was changed to "Black/African/Caribbean/Black British" for the 2011 census.

    As with earlier censuses, individuals who did not identify as "Black", "White" or "Asian" could instead write in their own ethnic group under "Other ethnic group". Persons with multiple ancestries could indicate their respective ethnic backgrounds under a "Mixed or multiple ethnic groups" tick box and write-in area.[12]'
  • The N word
    That's very interesting, because I have the opposite experience, growing up in Houston. My father always used the n-word to refer to African Americans (my mother didn't). His family were small-town farmer folks, and many of them were even worse (they invariably prefixed the n-word with "god damned").
    — Relativist

    That's consistent with my observation that its use revealed one's class. I think the same holds true in the African American community.
    Hanover

    I remember being taught at primary school ( UK - a couple of several decades ago ) that the proper word to use was 'negroe'.

    Times change and it can be confusing to know what the right description should be...

    An elderly relative noted the amount of 'blacks' in an English football team. Defensively informed me, without my even asking, that it was not an offensive term. However, what was the point of the comment, given that other European nationalities went unremarked.

    Recently, I watched the film 'The Dambusters' (1955).
    There was an added introduction which warned that some of the language used in that era might now cause offence to viewers.

    Turned out that ' Nigger' was the name of the Wing Commander's black labrador.
    Also that the dog’s name was used as a code word during Operation Chastise – which means 'a morse code operator has to shout it with great gusto at a key moment in the movie.'

    From:
    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/aug/07/the-dam-busters-film-reel-history

    '...It has been suggested that the N-word was less incendiary in Britain during the second world war than it was in the United States, where abolitionists objected strongly to it from the early 19th century. It would be a mistake to imagine it was inoffensive, though. Like other racial epithets, the N-word was always used in the context of belittlement and frequently as abuse. Yet there was far less awareness in Britain during the 1940s and 50s of the harm caused by using such language – and so, in real life and in the movie, Gibson’s dog’s name could go unremarked upon...'
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Another question. Or 2 or 3.

    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 ?
  • Essay Writing Fun
    This is something that has surprised me across forums. I thought that people with a genuine interest in some given subject would jump at the chance to test themselves and practice expressing ideas as well as giving feedback to other writers.

    To date, over the past two years, not a single person has shown anything other than a passing interest. It truly baffles me.
    I like sushi

    I guess I am one of those who expressed a passing interest here :

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/76/submit-an-article-for-publication

    Perhaps it just needs someone like yourself to start the ball rolling ?
    Right now, it takes me all my time to read and respond to a few threads.
    Good Luck.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    As Amity has said, there is considerable therapeutic value to be found in Kierkegaard's work. Although, the determination of the who, what, when and so on of therapy is not an individual process, and according to Kierkegaard's philosophy comes through the everlasting grace of God.Wallows

    To clarify, I have not made this strong claim. I could only do this, after I have read K. This is the point of my current project as explained above.

    Amongst other things, I am looking to understand how Kierkegaard's writings can be thought of as being therapeutic, as a way to improve self.Amity

    My purpose is... [ to have ]... a conversation which might lead to an improved understanding of any therapeutic value.
    I am not yet convinced of this, but then again I haven't read him. I am sure others have.
    Amity

    Is this claim, bolded above, one you would make yourself ?

    If so, can you say what have you read or absorbed that might support it ?

    Re : ' the determination of the who, what, when and so on of therapy is not an individual process, and according to Kierkegaard's philosophy comes through the everlasting grace of God.'

    I think the excellent questions of 'who, what, where, who, when and how' provide a good basis for both general enquiry and also as a mind mapping tool for self development.
    For example, see: Terrence Melz article 'The 5 W's of Life' ( and an H ) on Selfgrowth.com.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Absurdity of faith
    Truth is subjective
    Leap of faith

    what comes to mind for me
    matt

    Interesting trio of tenets which spring to your mind.

    Earlier I suggested that it would be helpful to have references or quotes to support any views.
    However, I realise that when we read and then been filled with enthusiasm, then this can simply be absorbed. Like a sponge we can take up inspirationsl ideas as beliefs to practise or be a part of everyday life. And we don't necessarily remember where or when...we don't all take notes.

    So, having looked up 'trio of tenets' ( just for fun), I found this:

    ----------

    https://owlcation.com/humanities/Kierkegaard

    3 key concepts:about how a person could lead their lives.

    1. Aesthetic
    2. Ethical
    3. Religious

    "The Knight of Faith” is perhaps the most discussed concept in Kierkegaard’s philosophy. It is best expressed in his book Fear and Trembling...
    ...This idea of Kierkegaard’s seems to be a fundamentally radical idea and a fundamentally practical idea all at the same time. He is urging readers away from “hard agnosticism” which would probably ultimately lead to a life in the Aesthetic Sphere and encouraging them to choose either dedication to God or the life of a rational non-believer in the Ethical Sphere. While Kierkegaard believes that the choice to follow God is the better one, he knows he has no real proof of this claim. The individual most make the choice while never knowing that he had chosen the right one.'

    ----------

    So, given your 3 tenets, do you think they can answer the second question as posed in OP:

    'How can he improve our lives ?'
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences.
    Perhaps I am naive and innocent. I assumed most people here would be scoring 0 or 1. The first surprise to me was that folks could not seem to imagine bringing up children without any punishment. I knew there were one or two people with 'diagnoses', but apart from them...unenlightened

    You, naive and innocent ? Not a chance in hell.

    I'll leave it there.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences.
    Yes, I wasn't expecting it to go this way at all. But I don't think it has got dangerously personal. One brings one's outlook to philosophy anyway, and hopefully we are something like unruly siblings that fight and squabble but have an underlying loyalty to each other. And of course you can always call on big brother if you think anyone is getting hurt. There is another thread that was extremely confessional that I had to back away from... But feel free anyway to change the tone to something a bit more formal and theoretical.unenlightened

    Really ? After all your experience on forums and this particular 'family', you didn't expect this kind of exchange ? I find that difficult to believe.

    Flagging up concerns to the admin and moderator team is a rare event.
    Intriguing that whenever anything like this comes up, it is portrayed as something like betrayal of an 'underlying loyalty' by an outsider.

    Regarding 'tone', informality is not the issue. Neither is there a requirement to be theoretical.

    There is nothing in this thread which lies outwith forum guidelines.
    However, as you say, part of philosophy is 'bringing one's outlook'. That is what I have done.
    For better or worse.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences.
    You are welcome to share personal details, and you are equally welcome to refrain from sharing. My own score is 0 which explains why I am such a lovely kind equable positive person. Lucky me, and lucky you to have my special attention.unenlightened

    This thread is a magnet for the troubled and would-be advisers.
    Sharing and being supportive is one thing.
    However, how appropriate is it - on a philosophy forum - for someone to ask and receive more personal information whilst *puffing on a cigarette*, asking about wanting to have kids and then suggesting that:

    wallowing is healthy. To wallow is to appreciateWallows

    This is just wrong.
    There is just too much personal information being given out by the vulnerable.
    I liken it to voyeurism.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    It's the whole nut of what philosophy is. What were you thinking philosophy is?Terrapin Station

    Curiosity and looking for increased knowledge about the facts of the world is fine. But it is too broad with regards to this particular topic I wish to follow.
    So, here it is about a certain aspect of humanity, i.e. anxiety, related to ideas and beliefs of Kierkegaard.

    Thanks for input.
    .
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    I'm curious about what the world is like factually.Terrapin Station
    And philosophy helps with this how ?
    I realise we are getting away from particular topic of Kierkegaard but this interests me...up to a point.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    The point is that I'm looking at philosophy to try to "improve myself." In my view philosophy has nothing whatsoever to do with that . . . at least not aside from increasing knowledge.Terrapin Station

    You mean you're not looking at philosophy for that purpose.
    Fair enough.
    So, what kind of knowledge are you looking to increase, and to what end ?
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    Newly published book on Kierkegaard here.Wayfarer

    Kierkegaard's Theological Sociology
    Prophetic Fire for the Present Age

    Hmmmm.
    My current impression:
    I think his writing appeals more to believers, people of faith. I would need to use the Principle of Charity to the nth degree.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    The only "improvement" I expect from any philosophy is a more accurate view of what's the case.Terrapin Station

    Yes. I think you need to know what is the case before any progress can be made.
    A careful assessment is the base-line.
    This can formed from both a subjective ( feelings, tastes and opinions/thoughts ) and objective perspective ( impartial, not influenced by beliefs but on fact and observation ). The difficulties lie in the accuracy of the perceptions.

    Amongst other things, I am looking to understand how Kierkegaard's writings can be thought of as being therapeutic, as a way to improve self.
  • What are the tenets of Kierkegaard's philosophy? How can he improve our lives?
    I found this thread after searching for further views on Kierkegaard.
    I guess the original poster is no longer here...but it is still a worthwhile question to consider.

    This is part of my preparation for reading K's Concept of Anxiety. A book proposed by Valentinus here:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/5676/next-book-for-reading/p1
    A useful starter thread which inspired thoughts on how best to read a philosophy book.
    Thanks to Wallows.

    To find the joy of the writer - Valentinus and others advise to read the book straight without secondary material which can 'fail to represent a joy Kierkegaard takes in representing his own experience.'

    Valentinus continues:
    'Some writers ask you to find them in your attempts to understand what is being said. Others confront you and call upon you to do stuff. Kierkegaard is writing in the second way.'

    ----------

    My purpose is not to start a book discussion, more a conversation which might lead to an improved understanding of any therapeutic value.
    I am not yet convinced of this, but then again I haven't read him. I am sure others have.

    So, what do you think ?

    How can he improve our lives?Ibn Sina

    According to Valentinus, the book 'explores the psychology of sin while looking at the limits of such an endeavor. On the way, he makes observations about adolescence and child rearing that are interesting in themselves, even if the reader rejects many of his premises.'

    In addition, Valentinus suggests that 'Kierkegaard is mostly interested in pushing people (including himself) to accept a responsibility for themselves that goes well beyond any narrative they or bystanders could produce. There are only clues or excuses. Explanations can only serve one purpose or the other. No one gets out alive...

    ...So, in thinking about contrasting points of view, there are a number of theorists of developmental psychology that look hard at what he observed.'

    I would be interested to hear more, if anyone else has a similar, or opposite, informed view then I would be glad to hear it.
    When I say 'informed', I mean views gleaned from reading the actual writings of Kierkegaard.
    To support any views, it would be helpful to reference and provide quotes.

    As someone else said:
    'Consulting the secondary literature can be helpful, but it can also be misleading, especially in cases like this where the text is being used as authoritative.'

    Also helpful would be any knowledge, or criticism, of any theorists of developmental psychology who might have used his work to develop therapeutic practice ? *

    *
    from:
    https://academyofideas.com/2018/02/soren-kierkegaard-psychology-anxiety/

    '...since possibility and freedom are only possible with anxiety present, we would be wise to heed Kierkegaard’s advice, and learn to be anxious in the right way. Or as the psychologist James Hollis explains:

    “Thus we are forced into a difficult choice: anxiety or depression. If we move forward, as our soul insists, we may be flooded with anxiety. If we do not move forward, we will suffer the depression, the pressing down of the soul’s purpose. In such a difficult choice one must choose anxiety, for anxiety is at least the path of personal growth; depression is a stagnation and defeat of life.” (James Hollis, Swamplands of the Soul )'
  • Next book for reading?
    Now disengaging.Amity
  • Next book for reading?
    I'm not sure a debate in the hypothetical about what the best book would be to discuss in a reading group is a worthy topic for discussion. IHanover

    Well, we could discuss that too :nerd:
    However, I am following advice to discontinue.

    From the first post casually asking about next reading group proposal and a lazy demand for a 'companion' to work with, it should have been obvious that there was a touch of the dilettante.
    At least now there is an honesty and an admission there would be no attempt to do any heavy lifting.
    I doubt a wallower and casual organiser of stuff would even lift the book to read it.

    Keeping it all casual bypasses hard work of not only reading but understanding.
    I understand that might be a symptom of anxiety of not achieving any expectations, real or imagined.
    Who knows...or cares ? Who benefits or loses out ?

    A reading group on a forum is perhaps not the best way to find whatever joy might be found in a philosophy book. It depends on what you want or need.

    I am glad the thread was started. I have been introduced to a book I had never heard of.
    However, there are probably better ways than this apparent game-playing exercise to find encouragement and inspiration.

    The SEP...every summary is a step back from reading the writing.

    Some writers ask you to find them in your attempts to understand what is being said. Others confront you and call upon you to do stuff. Kierkegaard is writing in the second way.
    Give it a shot and get back to me if no joy seems possible.
    Valentinus

    Yes. The SEP was only preparatory reading.
    I will read the book offline at my own pace. Might find what you speak of...
    I don't have high expectations of my ability but at least I have some and will give it a go.
    I can wallow too. It is not Either/Or. And it is not a forever or negative state as the word can imply.
    Depends what you wallow in.

    In any book discussion, I don't intend to wallow in a hollow depression of mud, casually tumbling about.

    Now disengaging.
  • Next book for reading?
    Whoever takes part in a reading group should work through the original along with everyone else, and only consult the secondary literature occasionally, to supplement and clarify the reading.jamalrob

    Doesn't it make more sense for each member to use secondary work of their own choosing and use that to help them interpret the primary source before posting in the group?jamalrob

    I appreciate the guidance here. I hope that you, or another mod, might continue this kind of support if any discussion takes place. However, I realise that the team is kept busy elsewhere.

    I'm aware of not wanting to put in the effort, and rather a free observer with some guiding theme or companion.Wallows

    If you're not willing to properly take part in a reading group, why would you think it okay to ask the people who are doing the work to do it in a way that suits you?
    — jamalrob

    Please define PROPERLY, here.
    Wallows

    Wallows, I think you know very well what jamalrob meant by this. If you don't then look at what you said about effort and being an observer.
  • Next book for reading?
    The SEP article is good in many ways but fails to represent a joy Kierkegaard takes in representing his own experience.Valentinus

    I think it an excellent, substantial and enlightening overview, including further links. Unfortunately, the podcast and transcript links I provided were too informal and superficial for my liking.

    In the meantime I discovered this informative video and transcript. It uses quotes from the Alastair Hannay translation.

    https://academyofideas.com/2018/02/soren-kierkegaard-psychology-anxiety/

    'In order to understand anxiety it is helpful to contrast it with fear, both of which are emotional responses to perceived threats. However, the types of threat which triggers these emotions differ. Fear is usually triggered by a threat which is known to us and located in some external object or situation. Anxiety, on the other hand, consists in the feeling of being threatened yet unable to know from where the danger arises...
    ... few can escape from the milder form of anxiety which permeates the background of our daily existence. To differentiate it from severe anxiety, this more common form is sometimes called “angst” or “existential anxiety”, and rather than attempting to alleviate it Soren Kierkegaard considered it an indispensable ingredient in a life lived to full potential.

    If man were a beast or an angel, he would not be able to be in anxiety. Since he is both beast and angel, he can be in anxiety, and the greater the anxiety, the greater the man.” (Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety)...
    ...
    ' Learning to know anxiety is an adventure which every man has to affront…He therefore who has learned rightly to be in anxiety has learned the most important thing.” (Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety)'
    ----------

    It ends with an encouragement:

    ...learn to be anxious in the right way. Or as the psychologist James Hollis explains:

    “Thus we are forced into a difficult choice: anxiety or depression. If we move forward, as our soul insists, we may be flooded with anxiety. If we do not move forward, we will suffer the depression, the pressing down of the soul’s purpose. In such a difficult choice one must choose anxiety, for anxiety is at least the path of personal growth; depression is a stagnation and defeat of life.” (James Hollis, Swamplands of the Soul)

    -------------

    I am not convinced that the Either/Or of the 'difficult choice' between anxiety and depression is something that we are 'thus...forced into'. Or that 'one must choose anxiety'.
    However, I am open to the idea that anxiety in itself is part of the 'adventure' of life and to engage with it in a positive sense.

    I have ordered the Hannay book.

    Valentinus, as a matter of interest, if the SEP fails to represent a joy Kierkegaard takes in representing his own experience, where do you suggest that subjective, special joy can be found ? In the book itself ?
  • Next book for reading?
    If it fulfilled its purpose of organizing some interest in a new reading group of Fear or Trembling or Kierkegaard's Concept of Anxiety. Those are the top two contenders as it stands.Wallows

    Right.

    I'm feeling a lot of emotions lately, so maybe something therapeutic... like Kierkegaard or safe, like Kant?Wallows

    It will be interesting to discover or uncover any therapeutic value in either.
    Fear and Anxiety both fascinating topics.
  • Next book for reading?
    Mission accomplished? We will see in due time.Wallows

    What do you mean by that ?
  • Next book for reading?
    The mods hate thatWallows

    Has it ever been tried ?

    1. One thread for a serious structured discussion. Time and text limited.

    2. The other for the inevitable sidetracks where any potential present and future followers can comment.
    Linked to the original.

    Guess that might be a bit overkill. Not to mention messy. Yeah, forget it. Just a thought.

    this thread is just to gather interest and asses what book to be read.Wallows

    Got that. However, other issues have been raised and are relevant.
    Just like last time.

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/5076/next-reading-group-proposal

    Happy discussing :smile:
  • Next book for reading?
    The leader just kind acts as a moderator and hopefully knows the specifics of the book to some degree. Furthermore, he or she can correct others where they may have gone wrong.Wallows

    I think that it might be an idea that any leader of a book discussion is more of a manager. Rather than someone who has already invested time and energy into a specific translation of a book. And it wouldn't necessarily be about correcting others.

    Someone who has experience in such, like jamalrob and other mods. I've been looking through previous time-limited readings. For example:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/37/reading-for-october-the-extended-mind/p1

    A discussion manager could lift any discussion whenever it would get bogged down.
    Other than that, it could be a free for all. And that might be fun too.
    Have parallel threads ?
  • Next book for reading?
    The sites that let you read almost any philosophy work for free are gold! I guess most people know them anyway.emancipate

    Ah OK, understood. I thought you meant the book.
    I enjoy freebies too but sometimes the translations are not the best.
    After searching or asking for advice, I tend to buy a real book.

    Like I need another book :nerd:
    That's why I need a bit of persuasion...or motivation...why should I buy this book ?
  • Next book for reading?
    Following previous advice as to preparatory reading, here is the SEP entry for Kierkegaard:

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kierkegaard/

    And a podcast:

    https://philosophizethis.libsyn.com/079-kierkegaard-on-anxiety
    With transcript:
    http://philosophizethis.org/episode-79-transcript/

    YouTube?
  • Next book for reading?
    ...what is being approached is how to understand our experience of the demonic in ourselves and others.Valentinus

    Hmmm, OK. I guess there is definition or special understanding of what is 'demonic' ?

    It can be daunting to undertake. On the other hand, the efforts made by Reidar Thomte and Albert Anderson to bring this web of connections in view through the footnotes is one of the best introductions to it.Valentinus

    I understand that any serious discussion of the book would need to be structured so that a pleasantly daunting challenge might be undertaken.

    I haven't taken a look yet but interest has been piqued. Thanks.
  • Next book for reading?
    please don't share the gold.emancipate

    Why do you consider it 'gold'?
  • Next book for reading?
    There does not appear to be a groundswell of interest in that book here but it can be found at memory of the world library.Valentinus

    Thanks for link. I will take a look.
    Perhaps interest would swell if passion ignited and stoked ? Give some more background ?