Ideas of Søren Kierkegaard, by Theme

[Danish, 1813 - 1855, Born in Copenhagen.]

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1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 2. Invocation to Philosophy
Fixed ideas should be tackled aggressively
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 5. Aims of Philosophy / d. Philosophy as puzzles
I conceived it my task to create difficulties everywhere
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 7. Despair over Philosophy
Philosophy fails to articulate the continual becoming of existence [Carlisle]
1. Philosophy / D. Nature of Philosophy / 8. Humour
Wherever there is painless contradiction there is also comedy
1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 5. Linguistic Analysis
Philosophy can't be unbiased if it ignores language, as that is no more independent than individuals are
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 2. Defining Truth
Kierkegaard's truth draws on authenticity, fidelity and honesty [Carlisle]
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 3. Value of Truth
Pure truth is for infinite beings only; I prefer endless striving for truth
3. Truth / A. Truth Problems / 8. Subjective Truth
I recognise knowledge, but it is the truth by which I can live and die that really matters
Traditional views of truth are tautologies, and truth is empty without a subject [Scruton]
Subjective truth can only be sustained by repetition [Carlisle]
The highest truth we can get is uncertainty held fast by an inward passion
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 5. Reason for Existence
I assume existence, rather than reasoning towards it
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 2. Nature of Necessity
Nothing necessary can come into existence, since it already 'is'
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 2. Ethical Self
The real subject is ethical, not cognitive
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 3. Self as Non-physical
The self is a combination of pairs of attributes: freedom/necessity, infinite/finite, temporal/eternal
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
Socrates neglects the gap between knowing what is good and doing good [Carlisle]
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / e. Love
Perfect love is not in spite of imperfections; the imperfections must be loved as well
If people marry just because they are lonely, that is self-love, not love
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature
The most important aspect of a human being is not reason, but passion [Carlisle]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 1. Existentialism
While big metaphysics is complete without ethics, personal philosophy emphasises ethics
Speculative philosophy loses the individual in a vast vision of humanity
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 2. Nihilism
For me time stands still, and I with it [Carlisle]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
Ultimate knowledge is being anxious in the right way
Anxiety is not a passing mood, but a response to human freedom [Carlisle]
The ultimate in life is learning to be anxious in the right way
Anxiety is staring into the yawning abyss of freedom
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 4. Boredom
The plebeians bore others; only the nobility bore themselves
Our destiny is the highest pitch of world-weariness
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 5. Existence-Essence
Reason is just abstractions, so our essence needs a subjective 'leap of faith' [Scruton]
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 6. Authentic Self
There are aesthetic, ethical and religious subjectivity [Carlisle]
People want to lose themselves in movements and history, instead of being individuals
Becoming what one is is a huge difficulty, because we strongly aspire to be something else
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 7. Existential Action
What matters is not right choice, but energy, earnestness and pathos in the choosing
Life may be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 8. Eternal Recurrence
Life is a repetition when what has been now becomes
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
When we seek our own 'freedom' we are just trying to avoid responsibility
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 7. Communitarianism
Kierkegaard prioritises the inward individual, rather than community [Carlisle]
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
God does not think or exist; God creates, and is eternal
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / a. Divine morality
Either Abraham rises higher than universal ethics, or he is a mere murderer
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 6. Divine Morality / d. God decrees morality
Abraham was willing to suspend ethics, for a higher idea
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / d. Religious Experience
God cannot be demonstrated objectively, because God is a subject, only existing inwardly
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 2. Pantheism
Pantheism destroys the distinction between good and evil
29. Religion / B. Monotheistic Religion / 4. Christianity / a. Christianity
The best way to be a Christian is without 'Christianity'
We need to see that Christianity cannot be understood
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 1. Religious Commitment / e. Fideism
Faith is like a dancer's leap, going up to God, but also back to earth [Carlisle]
Faith is the highest passion in the sphere of human subjectivity
Without risk there is no faith