Kierkegaard: some thoughts

I heard a nice piece on Kierkegaard on the radio the other day. A very interesting philosopher, one whom which I encountered during my younger days; I have a colleague who is interested in his work; however, as a continental philosopher.

I think some aspects of the man very interesting; one thing, which I must state that I find the most poignant; is his Socratic leanings; particularly expressed through his use of pseudonyms. By a false name, his views are not pinned to him as if he endorses them; but rather, it is a dialectic, or a propadeutic, a meditation by which the reader must embrace, reject, but either way, engage with. Engaging with a thought, not as an ideological standpoint (where people talk about ‘isms’ and being an ‘x-ist’, or ‘x-ian’, but just dealing with the thought tself).

This is a good way of doing philosophy; after all, is it not the engagement of thoughts and ideas? rather than the dominance of a dogmatic ideology. We, at our worst, are those who stand on the pulpit and preach to the masses; and at our best, sit together at the agora and discuss ideas openly and freely.

Oh, another thing I found interesting about Kierkegaard was his Christianity, and moreover, his love for Regina Olsen; melancholy prevented him to pursue the one he loved the most.

Not that I find anything familiar with Kierkegaard in any of those respects…



3 thoughts on “Kierkegaard: some thoughts

  1. I find it fascinating that Hume, who is the poster child for pre-twentieth century atheism, actually inspired Kierkegaard in forming his Christian existentialism (via the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion). You can’t make these sort of bizarre connections up! 🙂

    I’m not sure about Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms, though… there are times when one wants to know what someone actually thinks. 😉

    I found a copy of The Sickness Unto Death in a second hand book store earlier this year, and I’m looking forward to reading it when I get through the monster tome that has me at the moment.

    Best wishes!

  2. We can find much inspiration from Hume; many have found him a source of wisdom. Immanuel Kant, no less, found his Empiricism quite refreshing and insightful, but also very worrying. If it weren’t for Hume, Kant wouldn’t have been what he is today, and if not for Kant…Noumenal Realm may well have been called ‘Aquinas’ Authority’…

    Christianity is not anathema to the intellect, or to our humanity; I don’t like the way that modern ‘fashionable’ atheists want to poo poo on Christianity…like all things, there are pockets of interest in Christendom.

    May I also note (I’m surprised Master Destre didn’t mention this); that Existentialism is very much compatible with Christianity, just inasmuch as it has been linked to Atheism (in Sartre). Christian, particularly Protestant theology has been richly enhanced by continental philosophy; the continental philosophies, it seems, are trying to heal the damage from Kant’s ‘Religion from the limits of Mere Reason’.

    I see you have returned from your hiding from this blog, welcome back Magister Chris!


  3. Thanks for the welcome back! I’ve been away for a month, and haven’t been blogging.

    I held off on mentioning the Hume-Kant connection; I felt sure the Kantophiles would be fully cognisant. 🙂

    “Christianity is not anathema to the intellect, or to our humanity; I don’t like the way that modern ‘fashionable’ atheists want to poo poo on Christianity…like all things, there are pockets of interest in Christendom.”

    I heartily agree. I think what tends to happen is the “shallow end of the pool” syndrome: people take their examples to represent Christianity from the worst of the freak show the news services focus upon – it gives a very poor impression of just about anything. If your model for modern Christianity is (say) right-wing nutjob Pat Robertson, you will form a very different impression than if it is (say) Canadian Catholic philosopher Charles Taylor.

    Best wishes!

You can leave a reply or comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s