- Good question, Rick. I think there are two reasons. First, SK's ouvre
is so huge that most people have only a small experience and lose sight
of the forest for the trees. Secondly, people project their own
interpretations onto him.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "hakoohaj" <hakoohaj@y...>
> Hello all,
> I have read through many of the messages posted here and I have a
> question. Why do you think that there are there so many different
> interpretations of Kierkegaard?
> Rick Maloyan
- Hi RM, I have a sort of off the wall answer for you. The bottom line
will be that the cause of the many ways to read SK was the subject of
what SK was going on about; subjectivity itself, which is to say, the
existential. Here is how I would put it, more or less embellishing
Ron's second answer:
We need a definition of subjectivity. The word that comes the closest
to defining it is "me." Hey you! Who me? Yes, you! That me is the
whole nine yards of self-reference. When I point to me and say "me,"
that act captures the meaning of subjectivity. Ok, so what's new?
Nothing; that's the standard, or pedestrian meaning of subjectivity.
That "me" is the subject of many differing disciplines, psychology,
philosophy, religion, and so on. The number of different takes on the
meaning of that subjectivity is legion.
Now, along come Kierkegaard and adds a real existential twist to that
many-different-ways-to-take-me; a "me" that is of a completely
different order, one which he says is "incommensurable" with the first
one, one that requires the negation of the first one for it to be. So,
on top of the many different ways to approach "me" there is added to
it a negation of all of those ways, for without the "me" that grounds
a given way, there is no way. See what I mean by off the wall? The
question arises now as to whether or not that "leap" is for real or
rhetorical. All of those many ways are now clouded by that new choice.
Those who take that "leap" as real see the choice on how to take SK as
an either/or, the one way that sees him speaking to an absolute
disjunction between the two meanings of "me," admitting a me to the
second power, or the many way that sees his either/or as rhetorical
only. Those who see the "leap' as rhetorical, will see the former way
as being off the wall. And yes, a good question. willyb
--- In email@example.com, roncriss <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> Good question, Rick. I think there are two reasons. First, SK's ouvre
> is so huge that most people have only a small experience and lose sight
> of the forest for the trees. Secondly, people project their own
> interpretations onto him.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "hakoohaj" <hakoohaj@y...>
> > Hello all,
> > I have read through many of the messages posted here and I have a
> > question. Why do you think that there are there so many different
> > interpretations of Kierkegaard?
> > Rick Maloyan
- Yo, Rick, that site you choose is perfect for my purposes. I see it as
exemplifying what I was referring to as the existential twist. The
difference being contested in that site is between the rhetorical take
and the non-rhetorical take; is SK really talking about something or
just talking. That something is what SK calls an inwardness, or
subjectivity, that is different from subjectivity as it is known. One
side says there is no such thing and the other side says there is such
a thing. The difficulty in the scholarly approach is that there is no
agreement on what that second subjectivity means, which means that
there will be an many different interpretations on that side as on the
other side. Essentially, we have two incommensurate groups of many
But let me go back to Ron's answer and apply it to the "subjective"
answer, that "people project their own interpretations onto him." When
SK says something like subjectivity, or inwardness, being the truth,
and qualifies the meaning of truth as that which is true for you, what
/is/ he talking about? For descriptive purposes, let me take an
existential tack here. When he uses the term 'appropriation,' he is
saying just that, that either one knows what he is talking about or
one does not know what he is talking about, if for no other reason
than one has to know what he is talking about before one knows what he
is talking about, which, in effect, defines appropriation. Yeah,
circular, but if everything connects, what choice is there? If one is
describing one thing, then all descriptions would be expected to
circle around that one thing and therefore reference each other.
This "appropriation" means that if "there is such a thing," its
presence must precede the description of it, and if the description
can only be decoded /in/ its presence. We could then say that what he
is talking about is opaque to any who has not appropriated that
presence. That does not say that it cannot be said that SK is talking
about such a disjunction, only that talking about the disjunction
subjectively would be reserved for those who can describe it from its
presence. This would allow a scholar to say that what SK is saying is
not rhetoric, but would prevent that scholar from saying how it was
unless that scholar knew how it was.
I know you did not ask for such a heavily freighted response, but I
tend to lie low in the water, perilously close to sinking beneath my
own rhetoric. If anything catches your attention, I'll gladly splash
around more. What follows is SK saying what I was trying to say.
"Ordinary communication, objective thinking, has no secrets; only
doubly reflected subjective thinking has secrets; that is, all its
essential content is essentially a secret, because it cannot be
communicated directly. This is the significance of the secrecy. That
this knowledge cannot be stated directly, because the essential in
this knowledge is the appropriation itself, means that it remains a
secret for everyone who is not through himself doubly reflected in the
same way, but that this is the essential form of the truth means that
this cannot be said in any other way. " (CUP, Hong, p. 79; Lowrie, p. 73)
- Scam? Moi? Ricky, do I see what you mean? Sure do, but I shall answer
you truthfully nevertheless. I have always admitted that I am a
one-trick dog & pony show. I'll reveal the trick. The trick begins
with the positing of an 'in' not of the 'in' that has an 'out' and
then filling that form with existence by translating that new 'in'
that is not the old 'in', into terms of presence and let the old 'in'
be the temporal sense of self. See? This allows the translation to
mesh with SK's scheme of the synthesis of the temporal and the eternal
and allows for all of his connections. SK connects the two in the moment:
"Time is, then, infinite succession; the life that is in time and is
only of time has no present. In order to define the sensuous life, it
is usually said that it is in the moment and only in the moment. By
the moment, then, is understood that abstraction from the eternal
that, if it is to be the present, is a parody of it. The present is
the eternal, or rather, the eternal is the present, and the present is
full." (CA, Thomte, p. 86)
The moment signifies the present as that which has no past and no
future, and precisely in this lies the imperfection of the sensuous
life. The eternal also signifies the present as that which has no past
and no future, and this is the perfection of the eternal." (Ibid., p.
"The moment is that ambiguity in which time and eternity touch each
other, and with this the concept of temporality is posited, whereby
time constantly intersects eternity and eternity constantly pervades
time. As a result, the above-mentioned division acquires its
significance: the present time, the past time, the future time."
(Ibid., p. 89)
So, the moment contains all the action. It all takes place in that
place where the moment either has a past and a future and is nothing,
or it does not and is everything. SK puts it all into a scheme where
the moment fills as an anxiety born of self-awareness that then
willfully grabs for the continuity presented by a past and a future;
he calls it oddly guilt/sin and the misrelation comes into being. Of
course, the answer is to change the temporal moment back into the
moment of presence, which means breaking up the moment that has a past
and a future, which means, in effect, an unwilling of the willed;
hence the disjunction.
Well, Ricky, that's essentially the scam I've got going. I have
quickly skimmed over the surface of it, but there is enough there for
you to get the scent of it. As I said, a one-trick dog & pony show.
PS: I see Meddy is back and in great form. Mercury? Naw, Loki!