By Søren Kierkegaard
Alastair Hannay (tr.)
Writing below the pseudonym of Johannes de silentio, Kierkegaard makes use of the shape of a dialectical lyric to provide his belief of religion. Abraham is portrayed as a very good guy, who selected to sacrifice his son, Isaac, within the face of conflicting expectancies and in defiance of any possible moral common. The notorious and debatable 'teleological suspension of the ethical' challenged the modern perspectives of Hegel's common ethical approach, and the pain person needs to on my own make a selection 'on the energy of the absurd'. Kierkegaard's writings have encouraged either sleek Protestant theology and existentialism.
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Extra resources for Fear and Trembling (Penguin Great Ideas)
28 Starting Out with Kierkegaard / 21 On this point Benjamin was a discerning reader indeed. The governing claim of Adorno’s book is that one can only unlock the true mystery of Kierkegaard’s philosophy if one resists both its theistic appeals to a transcendent God and its protoexistentialist meditations on the anxiety of finite life. To dwell upon such themes only serves to camouflage and does not reveal the true meaning of Kierkegaard’s philosophical legacy. One properly understands that legacy only if one comprehends the category it simultaneously constructs and condemns as the antithesis of religious existence: the aesthetic.
However old I may become, it will always be impossible for me to think of Cordelia amid surroundings different from this little room. . ” It is an aesthetic-material sign in Kierkegaard’s writing for the “simultaneity” to which everything external and historical has been reduced so as to secure immunity against all historical conditioning. The bourgeois apartment thus serves as a sign of the “subjective thinker” who wishes to isolate him- or herself 26 / Adorno and Existence from society. ”38 But the intérieur for Kierkegaard is not only the scene of seduction and bourgeois interiority.
A proper interpretation of philosophy, Adorno insists, will treat it neither as a mere “manifestation of the thinker’s subjectivity” nor as the formal and systematic coherence of concepts. ” To understand the philosophical import of what Kierkegaard deems “the aesthetic,” we must therefore avoid Hermann Gottsched’s error of celebrating Kierkegaard merely as a poet, and we must instead recognize the place of this aesthetic category within the whole of Kierkegaard’s philosophy. 30 Starting Out with Kierkegaard / 23 Needless to say, Kierkegaard himself was hardly prepared to acknowledge the higher philosophical import of the aesthetic.