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
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
Ultimate knowledge is being 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]
Without risk there is no faith
Faith is the highest passion in the sphere of human subjectivity