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44905Re: On how little is understood about the thinker Kierkegaard

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  • bhvwd
    Aug 6, 2008
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      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "louise" <hecubatoher@...> wrote:
      > Here is an extract from the 'Historical Introduction' by Reidar
      > Thomte, to the Princeton edition of "The Concept of Anxiety" by
      > Kierkegaard.
      > ~ The psychological concern that fostered *The Concept of Anxiety*
      > figures in many of Kierkegaard's other works. *Repetition* is "A
      > Venture in Experimenting Psychology"; the sub-title
      > of "'Guilty?'/'Not Guilty?'" in *Stages on Life's Way* is "An
      > Imaginary Psychological Construction"; the subtitle of *The
      > Unto Death* is "A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding
      > and Awakening"; and *The Concept of Anxiety* has as its
      subtitle, "A
      > Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue
      > of Hereditary Sin." These subtitles reflect the history of
      > Kierkegaard's personal experience and the extent to which these
      > represent an analysis of his own self.
      > His contribution to psychological thought did not go unnoticed. In
      > 1881 Georg Brandes, a celebrated writer and literary critic, wrote
      > a letter to Nietzsche, "In my opinion he [Kierkegaard] is one of
      > most profound psychologists who ever lived."
      > Historically, the psychology with which Kierkegaard worked is quite
      > different from present-day psychological research. His is a
      > phenomenology that is based on an ontological view of man, the
      > fundamental presupposition of which is the transcendent reality of
      > the individual, whose intuitively discernible character reveals the
      > existence of an eternal component. Such a psychology does not
      > well with any purely empirical science and is best understood by
      > regarding soma, psyche and spirit as the principal determinants of
      > the human structure, with the first two belonging to the temporal
      > realm and the third to the eternal.
      > From the positivistic point of view, the psychology of *The Concept
      > of Anxiety* was attacked by the philosopher Harald Hoffding, whose
      > criticism was directed especially against the idea of
      > the "qualitative leap". He maintained that the sciences, including
      > the science of psychology, are based on the assumption that there
      > an unbroken continuity in the passage from possibility to actuality
      > and that every new state is thereby the simple consequence of a
      > previous state. For Hoffding, a presuppositionless leap would
      > abrogate the strict continuity required in every science. Yet this
      > is precisely Kierkegaard's point, namely, that the "qualitative
      > is a category outside the scope of scientific procedures and that
      > confirmation is therefore not reducible to the principles of
      > verification assumed by the sciences. Kierkegaard expressed this
      > difference by positing not only psychosomatic dimensions in human
      > existence, but also a dimension of spirit, distinguishing
      > the "outwardness" of scientific observation from the "inwardness"
      > spiritual experience. A psychology that does not account for the
      > determining and transforming activity of spirit in the self-
      > subject will not accurately reflect what grounds and generates the
      > quality of man's becoming. *The Concept of Anxiety* then suggests
      > that the psychologist could analyze this notion and its relation to
      > the "qualitative leap" produced in the dialectic of freedom in
      > to work toward a more adequate grasp of man's nature and the
      > ontological determinants that shape the human condition. ~
      > I hope this goes some way toward explaining that, at least to the
      > best of my own understanding, the "leap", for Kierkegaard is an
      > ontological concept, concerned with the nature of being, not of
      > beings, indeed concerned with the very structure of being itself,
      > explored, for instance, in the work of Nikolai Hartmann. Faith is
      > not explicable to those who do not live by faith, yet the
      > presuppositions for faith may be stated and argued. European
      > thinkers have been engaged in such activity for centuries.
      > Louise
      > Louise, my good friend, Your post script to the quotation was most
      well structured and appreciated. It ties into some ideas that are
      fermenting within me. I am tryin g to coin a term to name what I am
      thinking. I want it to relate to the latin term for left while
      keeping the nuance of self serving individualism. sinestryism.I want
      the concept to denote humanity as a species in the throes of
      evolution but beyond the strict rigors of instinct. We are beings
      that want to be gods but all the same we must eat.Trapped in
      competition we can imagine a better existance but cannot reach it.
      Existentialism abounds in the remorse of beings struggling out of
      beastly bloodyness. The angst seems to have overcome the philosophy
      and SK proposes we aceed to the metaphysical and engage our mystic
      proclivities. My concept would see our species in a precarious
      attitude of guarded decency with less brooding despair and a more
      content demeanor. Thanks for reading my attempts at new organisation.
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