Kierkegaard's Writings, XII by Søren Kierkegaard
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, Volume I: 001

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Synopsis

In Philosophical Fragments the pseudonymous author Johannes Climacus explored the question: What is required in order to go beyond Socratic recollection of eternal ideas already possessed by the learner? Written as an afterword to this work, Concluding Unscientific Postscript is on one level a philosophical jest, yet on another it is Climacus's characterization of the subjective thinker's relation to the truth of Christianity. At once ironic, humorous, and polemical, this work takes on the "unscientific" form of a mimical-pathetical-dialectical compilation of ideas. Whereas the movement in the earlier pseudonymous writings is away from the aesthetic, the movement in Postscript is away from speculative thought. Kierkegaard intended Postscript to be his concluding work as an author. The subsequent "second authorship" after The Corsair Affair made Postscript the turning point in the entire authorship. Part One of the text volume examines the truth of Christianity as an objective issue, Part Two the subjective issue of what is involved for the individual in becoming a Christian, and the volume ends with an addendum in which Kierkegaard acknowledges and explains his relation to the pseudonymous authors and their writings. The second volume contains the scholarly apparatus, including a key to references and selected entries from Kierkegaard's journals and papers.

 

About Søren Kierkegaard

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Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Soren Kierkegaard was the son of a wealthy middle-class merchant. He lived all his life on his inheritance, using it to finance his literary career. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, completing a master's thesis in 1841 on the topic of irony in Socrates. At about this time, he became engaged to a woman he loved, but he broke the engagement when he decided that God had destined him not to marry. The years 1841 to 1846 were a period of intense literary activity for Kierkegaard, in which he produced his "authorship," a series of writings of varying forms published under a series of fantastic pseudonyms. Parallel to these, he wrote a series of shorter Edifying Discourses, quasi-sermons published under his own name. As he later interpreted it in the posthumously published Point of View for My Work as an Author, the authorship was a systematic attempt to raise the question of what it means to be a Christian. Kierkegaard was persuaded that in his time people took the meaning of the Christian life for granted, allowing all kinds of worldly and pagan ways of thinking and living to pass for Christian. He applied this analysis especially to the speculative philosophy of German idealism. After 1846, Kierkegaard continued to write, publishing most works under his own name. Within Denmark he was isolated and often despised, a man whose writings had little impact in his own day or for a long time afterward. They were translated into German early in the twentieth century and have had an enormous influence since then, on both Christian theology and the existentialist tradition in philosophy.
 
Published April 21, 2013 by Princeton University Press. 643 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Kierkegaard's Writings, XII

Honey and Locusts

Most likely not, but he believed solely because he desired to believe and possibly he fully believed in his secret heart even when he said, “I do not believe till I see.”.

Jul 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Kierkegaard's Writings, XII: ...

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