Soren Kierkegaard

Soren KierkegaardIn philosophy, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) (IQ:180|#160) [RGM:58|1,260+] (Stokes 100:69) (CR:15) was a Danish philosopher, and oft-cited greatest philosopher ever, noted for []

Kierkegaard is oft-classificated as one of the four main existentialism philosophy founders, along with: French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and German thinker Friedrich Nietzsche; per his absurdism discussions, he would seem to classify more with Sartre, than Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche.

Fear and Trembling
In 1843, Kierkegaard, in his Fear and Trembling, gives an intellectually backwards (religio-mythology scholars had already debunked Abraham as myth, by this period) take on the Abraham and Isaac story, in respect to his own issues with doubt in god, but that he wanted to believe in faith, for happiness sake; the discussion is weak and messy, e.g. “I am convinced that god is love”, “I cannot close my eyes and hurl myself trustingly into the absurd” (see: absurdism), etc. [7]

Crowd is Untruth

In 1846, Kierkegaard, in his “The Crowd is Untruth” (Ѻ), seems to ramble on incoherently, per reason that Jesus as myth (see: Christ myth theory) had been popularized by this period, about Jesus being crucified vs “crowd”, which he says has “power, influence, reputation, and domination”.

Kierkegaard gave commentary on genius; the following are noted quotes:

“There are two kinds of geniuses. The characteristic of the one is roaring, but the lightning is meagre and rarely strikes; the other kind is characterized by reflection by which it constrains itself or restrains the roaring. But the lightning is all the more intense; with the speed and sureness of lightning it hits the selected particular points—and is fatal.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

“The case with most men is that they go out into life with one or another accidental characteristic of personality of which they say: Well, this is the way I am. I cannot do otherwise. Then the world gets to work on them and thus the majority of men are ground into conformity. In each generation a small part cling to their ‘I cannot do otherwise’ and lose their minds. Finally there are a very few in each generation who in spite of all life's terrors cling with more and more inwardness to this ‘I cannot do otherwise’. They are the geniuses. Their ‘I cannot do otherwise’ is an infinite thought, for if one were to cling firmly to a finite thought, he would lose his mind.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

Geniuses are like thunderstorms. They go against the wind, terrify people, cleanse the air.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

In the 1830s, Kierkegaard, among genius and exercise aficionados, took what he referred to as a “people bath” each day walking around his native streets, chewing over ideas; in his own words: [3]

“I have walked myself into my best thoughts.”

He did this for two decades. Kiekegaard, supposedly, is grouped among the so-called “boredom philosophers”, namely: Pascal, Rousseau, Kant, Schopenhauer, Zapffe, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Benjamin, Adorno, Goethe, Flaubert, Stendhal, Mann, Beckett, Buchner, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Baudelaire, Leopardi, Proust, Byron, Eliot, Ibsen, Valery, Bernanos, and Pessoa. [1]

Friedrich Nietzsche, supposedly, was impressed by Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger, supposedly, rediscovered Kierkegaard turning him into an intellectual predecessor of existentialist philosophy. [5]

Kierkegaard was also influential to Samuel Beckett and Walker Percy.

The following are noted tributes:

“Among men of flesh and bone there have been typical examples of those who possess this tragic sense of life. I recall now Marcus Aurelius, St. Augustine, Pascal, Rousseau, Rene, Obermann, Thomson, Leopardi, Vigny, Lenau, Kleist, Amiel, Quental, Kierkegaard—men burdened with wisdom rather than with knowledge.”
— Miguel Unamuno (1912), Tragic Sense of Life [2]

The following are noted quotes:

“Where am I? Who am I?
How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And if I am compelled to take part in it,
Where is the director?
I want to see him.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

“I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

“The thinker without paradox is like the lover without passion.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1830), Publication

“Like Leporello, learned men keep a list, but the point is what they lack; while Don Juan seduces girls and enjoys himself—Leporello notes down the time, the place and the description of the girl.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (1834), Journals [4]

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (1843), Journals IV A 164 (Ѻ)

“An unconscious relationship is more powerful than a conscious one.”
— Soren Kierkegaard (c.1845) [6]

1. Svendsen, Lars. (2005). A Philosophy of Boredom (pg. 20). Reaktion Books.
2. Unamuno, Miguel de. (1912). Tragic Sense of Life (pgs. 18, 94-95). Dover, 1954.
3. (b) Interview with Monica Dirac, 3 May 2006.
(b) Farmelo, Graham. (2009). The Strangest Man: the Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom (pgs. 111-12). Basic Books.
4. Solomon, Robert C. (1981). Love: Emotion, Myth, & Metaphor (pg. 93). Prometheus Books, 1990.
5. Meis, Morgan. (2013). “The First New Atheist”, The Smart Set, May 8.
6. Pagels, Elaine. (1995). The Origin of Satan (pg. xx). Vintage Books.
7. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 399-400). HarperOne.

Further reading
● Hubben, William. (1966). Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Kafka: Four Prophets of Our Destiny. Collier Books.

External links
Soren Kierkegaard – Wikipedia.

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