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Re: Forgiveness

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  • Will Brown
    Hi Jim, a few words follow in response to your post: Your analysis of the world is paradoxical because of the incarnation and the atonement brought the
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 16, 2005
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      Hi Jim, a 'few' words follow in response to your post:

      Your analysis of the 'world is paradoxical' because of the incarnation
      and the atonement brought the paradoxical with it leaves me with no
      choice but to agree that the distinction I made was solely mine; the
      point is taken.

      Concerning the self-relation and the applicability of the paradox to
      it, I would use your argument as to why the world is paradoxical; if
      the paradox is in there with the existing person, this person is the
      paradox in the same sense of your argument for the paradox being the
      world.

      As to the separation of the spheres being a paradox, I don't think he
      ever says that explicitly, but what is more paradoxical than a
      transition containing a self-discontinuity within it? There is a
      Buddhist Koan that plays on the same theme; The Gateless Gate. One
      must go through it, but no one ever gets through it. It's a leap,
      where the leaper may reflect upon the leap and truthfully say that no
      one leaped. It is as if, when the question is asked, "What happened?",
      the answer founders because the implied "to me" cannot be applied. The
      "me" is seen to be the thought of 'having been' identified as one's
      past, giving the self its temporal imprint.

      I would make the point that when SK speaks to the selfishness that
      indicates the esthetic sphere, it is this identity he is speaking to.
      When this identity is negated, is broken, goes South, there a
      discontinuity comes into being in the reflection that allows such an
      identity to take root. If that reflection is the very reflection
      required for self-identity, defining the existential, and I say it is,
      then it is the reflection that gives one one's sense of self that
      contains the possibility of entertaining a false sense of self, i.e.,
      the selfishness that needs to be broken, which is why SK could say the
      following:

      "If someone were to say to him, 'This is a curious entanglement, a
      curious kind of knot, for the whole trouble is really the way your
      thinking twists around; otherwise it is even normal, in fact, this is
      the course you have to take: you must go through the despair of the
      self to the self. You are quite right about the weakness, but that is
      not what you are to despair over; the self must be broken in order to
      become itself, but quit despairing over that.'—if someone were to
      speak to him in that way, he would understand it in a dispassionate
      moment, but his passion would soon see mistakenly again, and then once
      more he would make a wrong turn—into despair." (SUD, Hong, p.65;
      Lowrie, p. 199)

      On the F&T business, I have so many differences with your statements
      that I may respond in a second post at a later date. Willy

      PS:

      <P.S. I have been following your exchange with Don Anderson with
      interest. I think Don was correct to point out that the
      incommensurability SK mentions in the quote is between inwardness and
      outwardness and not, as you interpret, between the two kinds of
      inwardness.>

      Our difference here harks back to our different view of the existence
      spheres. As I read what Don is saying, he is definitely on your side
      in this issue. This issue definitely provides a bright line separation
      that divides those of us who post here into two separate groups. Is
      the self the problem, or is the problem something I must solve. If I
      am the problem, how does one wash off blood with blood?

      == === == ===

      <I agree that the quotes from "Philosophical Fragments" you include do
      support your "new self" interpretation of SK. However perhaps the PF
      quotes reveal inconsistencies in SK's writings. First, the
      one-transition view expressed in the quotes conflicts with the
      three-transition view carefully detailed in "Concluding Unscientific
      Postscript".>

      I hear this: "Well, yes, he said that, but he didn't mean it." Once
      you start dismissing SK words that support my position, and keeping
      those that support your position, reason surely goes out the window.
      Either SK's entire structure holds together or it cannot be used to
      say what he was saying, or meaning. In making the argument you make,
      you give up all authority of the very subject you are trying to find
      the authority in. It does not make sense logically to make that sort
      of argument; you inevitably end up pulling the rug out from under your
      own feet. If I recollect rightly, you have complained of SK as being
      self-contradictory. For myself, I can see him speaking to a singular
      theme, one that has facets that seem contradictory if the singular
      theme is not seen.

      === == === ==

      <In CUP, SK spends some time describing the passion for the absolute
      of the ethical individual, and portrays Socrates as an ethical
      individual who has "authentic inwardness". Perhaps SK came to view PF
      as a flawed work, which he then attempted to correct in CUP which is,
      after all, a "Postscript" to PF.>

      Yes, perhaps, but is it also possible that the flaws you see are not
      in the structure, but in your understanding of the structure? A
      singular theme can have many facets, as can an elephant be comprised
      of many disparate parts. Besides, are you seriously suggesting that
      the PF was a flawed work because that one quote does not support your
      position? I do note that in the chapter of CUP dealing with Danish
      literature he was still positive about the PF, so he must have changed
      his mind later in the book.

      = == ==== ======

      <Second, Johannes Climacus is claiming that only the individual who
      has made the transition to faith ("from non-being to being") can
      understand the nature of the transition and the nature of the new life
      after the new birth. However, Johannes admits that he himself has not
      made the transition to faith, so how can he know what the individual
      of faith can and cannot understand?>

      "Never have I fought in such a way that I have said: I am a true
      Christian; the others are not Christians, or probably even hypocrites
      and the like. No, I have fought in this way: /I know what Christianity
      is/; I myself acknowledge my defects as a Christian – but I do
      know
      what Christianity is. And to come to know this thoroughly seems to me
      to be in the interest of every human being, whether one is now a
      Christian or a non-Christian, whether one's intention is to accept
      Christianity or to abandon it. But I have attacked no one, saying that
      he is not a Christian; I have passed judgment on no one. Indeed, the
      pseudonymous writer Johannes Climacus, who poses the issue of
      'becoming a Christian,' does even the opposite, denies being a
      Christian and accords this to the others – surely the greatest
      possible distance from passing judgment upon others! And I myself have
      from the start enjoined and again and again repeated stereotypically:
      I am without authority." (PV, Hong, p.15) (On My Work as an Author)

      For Professor Ferreira, in her CCKT paper, to seriously suggest that
      "any attempt to identify Climacus's leap with Kierkegaard's
      understanding must take into account the fact that Climacus confesses
      himself not to be a Christian," is a chortle on two accounts; the
      above quote, which shows why he had JC say what he said, and the
      reification of the pseudonym as having a separate existence, i.e., a
      mind of its own, is like looking at the pointing finger instead of the
      moon. On the latter, SK has much to say in /Point of View/, a book I
      think you would enjoy reading, about his relation to the pseudonymous
      authors as pointing fingers; a sample follows:

      "But from the total point of view of my whole work as an author, the
      esthetic writing is a deception, and herein is the deeper significance
      of the /pseudonymity/. But a deception, that is something rather ugly.
      To that I would answer: Do not be deceived by the word /deception/.
      One can deceive a person out of what is true, and—to recall old
      Socrates—one can deceive a person into what is true. Yes, in only
      this
      way can a deluded person actually be brought into what is true—by
      deceiving him. …What, then, does it mean 'to deceive'? It means
      that
      one does not begin /directly/ with what one wishes to communicate but
      begins by taking the other's delusion at face value. Thus one does not
      begin (to hold to what is essentially the theme of this book) in this
      way: I am a Christian, you are not a Christian—but this way: You
      are a
      Christian, I am not a Christian. Or one does not begin this way: It is
      Christianity that I am proclaiming, and you are living in the purely
      esthetic categories. No, one begins this way: let us talk about the
      esthetic. The deception consists in one's speaking this way precisely
      in order to arrive at the religious. But according to the assumption
      the other person is in fact under the delusion that the esthetic is
      essentially Christian, since he thinks he is a Christian and yet he is
      living in esthetic categories. " (PV, Hong, pp.53-54 )


      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Jim Stuart" <jimstuart@n...>
      wrote:
      > William,
      >
      > We seem to disagree where Kierkegaard locates the paradox (or the
      paradoxes, if there are more than one).
      >
      > I claim that SK sees the world as paradoxical. You reply:
      >
      > "I cannot imagine where you see anything in the quote that indicates
      the world is paradoxical ... What if, at the maximum passion and
      inwardness, it is not the world that is the paradox, but the
      self-relation? ... The paradox that is the separation of the spheres
      has been itself reduced to the paradox of faith."
      >
      > Well, in the quote we are concentrating on, SK writes: "Christianity
      is paradox."
      >
      > Now you may want to claim that Christianity is wholly within, but I
      want to maintain that Christianity, for SK, is at least partly out
      there in the world. SK describes the following aspects of Christianity
      as being paradoxes: sin, the atonement, the incarnation, as well as
      Christianity as a whole.
      >
      > Now for me the atonement and the incarnation were historical events,
      and, as such, are part of the world. Thus, for SK, a true description
      of the world would include these paradoxical features. If the world
      includes paradoxical features, then my statement 'The world is
      paradoxical' is true.
      >
      > Let me turn the tables on you: You claim in your post that the
      "self-relation" is a paradox, and that "the separation of the spheres"
      is a paradox. Can you produce quotes where SK makes these two claims?
      >
      > As for "Fear and Trembling", the quote from SK's Journals is
      helpful. It is particularly illuminating that SK says that "Johannes
      de silentio reiterates that he cannot understand Abraham". I suppose
      that if Johannes cannot understand Abraham, then there's not much
      chance of you and me understanding him. Perhaps I should be less
      confrontational and more modest and just say "I cannot understand how
      a man poised to murder his son can be exhibiting faith."
      >
      > On "Fear and Trembling", you outline your own view as follows:
      >
      > "What if the whole of F&T were for the purpose of making a point,
      like, say this: Faith as trumping the universal, the ethical, by the
      obeying of God in real time in a manner that negates the ethical, that
      suspends the ethical?"
      >
      > Two responses to this come to mind. First, I am persuaded by Ronald
      Green that SK didn't just communicate one message in F&T, but intended
      the text to contain a number of different messages - the text has
      various layers of meaning. You are suggesting that SK only had one
      purpose in writing F&T, but following Green, I think you are wrong
      about this.
      >
      > Second, I can agree, however, that one of SK's purposes in writing
      F&T was, as you say, to show "Faith as trumping the universal, the
      ethical." However this point alone does not answer my criticism of SK.
      I can accept that SK wants me to believe that "faith trumps the
      universal", but I don't see how portraying a potential child murderer
      as a paragon of faith is supposed to convince me of this. I'm tempted
      to say that if faith is all about raising a knife to a child's throat,
      I'll stick with the ethical, thank you very much.
      >
      > Yours,
      >
      > James
      >
      > P.S. I have been following your exchange with Don Anderson with
      interest. I think Don was correct to point out that the
      incommensurability SK mentions in the quote is between inwardness and
      outwardness and not, as you interpret, between the two kinds of
      inwardness.
      >
      > I agree that the quotes from "Philosophical Fragments" you include
      do support your "new self" interpretation of SK. However perhaps the
      PF quotes reveal inconsistencies in SK's writings. First, the
      one-transition view expressed in the quotes conflicts with the
      three-transition view carefully detailed in "Concluding Unscientific
      Postscript". In CUP, SK spends some time describing the passion for
      the absolute of the ethical individual, and portrays Socrates as an
      ethical individual who has "authentic inwardness". Perhaps SK came to
      view PF as a flawed work, which he then attempted to correct in CUP
      which is, after all, a "Postscript" to PF.
      >
      > Second, Johannes Climacus is claiming that only the individual who
      has made the transition to faith ("from non-being to being") can
      understand the nature of the transition and the nature of the new life
      after the new birth. However, Johannes admits that he himself has not
      made the transition to faith, so how can he know what the individual
      of faith can and cannot understand?
      >
      >
    • Jim Stuart
      Hi Willy, Thank you for your post and your detailed criticisms of my remarks. As usual, I find the quotes from Kierkegaard s works helpful and
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 17, 2005
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        Hi Willy,

        Thank you for your post and your detailed criticisms of my remarks. As usual, I find the quotes from Kierkegaard's works helpful and thought-provoking. Yes, I think it would be a good idea for me to find time to read "Point of View" sooner rather than later - but I have little time at present, and so much to read.

        I think that if I responded to all the points you make, I would be writing an exceedingly long post, and I think that would be counter-productive. So here I'll only respond to some of your criticisms of me, and some of your positive views. If you feel I have not responded to something which you feel demands a response, please say.

        On the issue of where the paradox (or paradoxes) are primarily to be situated - with the doctrines of Christianity (sin, the atonement, the incarnation) or with the self-relation, I think that unless you can find a quote where SK calls the self-relation a paradox, the case for your interpretation of SK is damaged.

        On my remarks on your exchange with Don Anderson, I think you read certain things into my remarks which were not there. First, I was not aiming to "take sides" in your exchange. I think on a number of points Don is correct, and on a number of points I agree with you. I think it is not helpful to try to put contributors to this forum into 'camps'. We are all individuals with our own ideas and understandings and misunderstandings of Kierkegaard's writings. I agree with your remarks on reason in your latest posting in the "What Is Essential" thread, and I also disagree with Don when he argues that there is only a "small leap" from the aesthetic sphere to the ethical sphere. I think that you, like me, place more emphasis on the transition from the aesthetic sphere to the ethical sphere than Don does.

        For the rest of this posting want to concentrate on your response to this section of my previous posting:

        <I agree that the quotes from "Philosophical Fragments" you include do support your "new self" interpretation of SK. However perhaps the PF quotes reveal inconsistencies in SK's writings. First, the one-transition view expressed in the quotes conflicts with the three-transition view carefully detailed in "Concluding Unscientific Postscript".>

        In reply, you write:

        "I hear this: "Well, yes, he said that, but he didn't mean it." Once you start dismissing SK words that support my position, and keeping those that support your position, reason surely goes out the window. Either SK's entire structure holds together or it cannot be used to say what he was saying, or meaning. In making the argument you make, you give up all authority of the very subject you are trying to find the authority in. It does not make sense logically to make that sort of argument; you inevitably end up pulling the rug out from under your own feet. If I recollect rightly, you have complained of SK as being self-contradictory. For myself, I can see him speaking to a singular theme, one that has facets that seem contradictory if the singular theme is not seen."

        This is severe criticism indeed! Firstly, I do not recall "complaining that SK is self-contradictory". At most, I may have argued that a particular idea of SK's was self-contradictory, but for now I cannot recall any particular remark I have made along these lines.

        Second, you seem to have an overall argument as follows: If a person disagrees with a single claim of SK's, or attributes a single inconsistency to SK, then that person loses all authority as an interpreter and commentator on Kierkegaard. You come across here as a Kierkegaardian 'fundamentalist' who is unprepared to countenance the possibility that SK was wrong in anything he wrote, and was incapable of even the smallest of inconsistencies.

        What do I think is a reasonable way to approach a thinker such as SK? Well, I do believe he is a 'great thinker', whose depths of insights into the psychological, the ethical and the religious surpassed just about everybody else. In comparison I am a minnow, and for me to accuse SK of inconsistency or of making mistakes should be a last resort. My methodological approach should involve a 'principle of charity' where I aim, if possible, to interpret everything SK says as making sense and being internally consistent.

        Having said this, occasionally I come across 'apparent inconsistencies', for example the one in which PF seems to speak of one transition, while CUP speaks of three transitions. When confronted by an apparent inconsistency, my aim is to try to find a way of reading SK which removes the inconsistency. However this may not always be possible, so it might be reasonable for me to conclude that in a particular case the appearance of inconsistency is due to an actual inconsistency in what SK writes.

        In the case of the one transition vs. three transitions apparent inconsistency, my inclination is to say that the three transition account of CUP is SK's more mature view, and that SK did see CUP as in some way 'correcting' aspects of PF. I don't think that in making this tentative suggestion I forfeit all authority to continue to interpret and discuss SK to the best of my ability.

        Yours,

        Jim



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • don Anderson
        James, I have been reading your recent posts with more than a passing interest. I would like to comment on the part of a post you made a week or 2 ago as
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 17, 2005
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          James,
          I have been reading your recent posts with more than a passing interest. I
          would like to comment on the part of a post you made a week or 2 ago as
          copied here:

          .Kierkegaard thinks a person's level of passion is connected to the person's
          consciousness of the paradoxical nature of reality. I repeat a quote I used
          a while back:

          "Subjectivity culminates in passion, Christianity is paradox; paradox and
          passion fit each other perfectly, and paradox perfectly fits a person
          situated in the extremity of existence. Indeed in the whole world there are
          not to be found two lovers who fit each other as do paradox and passion ...
          the existing person has been situated in the extremity of existence by the
          paradox itself." (CUP, Hong, p. 230)

          Kierkegaard seems to think that unless we see the world as paradoxical, we
          will not develop maximum passion and inwardness.

          I believe you have misinterpreted what SK is saying in the above quote and
          about subjectivity, passion, and paradox. I don't believe that SK is saying
          that paradox leads to passion as such or that there is a direct correlation
          between the amount of one and the other. He is saying in the quote above
          that subjectivity as opposed to objectivity leads to passionate life and
          actions. Passionate action is what I understand to be at least one of SK's
          major points in that it is necessary if one is to live a meaningful life.

          In order to see what SK is talking about we need to remember that all of his
          writings are a polemic against rationalism and rationalism is all about
          objective knowledge. Objective knowledge is supposed to be about suppressing
          passion and looking at the facts with a cold eye. Ideally the objective
          rationalist should not make a decision about anything until all the facts
          are in and the subject is transparent. Passion is out and knowledge is in.

          What I see SK as saying is that the existing person does not have the luxury
          of objectivity for at least two reasons. First one can't ever reach a place
          of complete or rarely even adequate knowledge before one has to engage in
          existential activity in pursuing life. There are always more facts to
          gather, more events to occur, etc. So one has to live without all the facts.

          Second if the existing person does not live and act subjectively that person
          will never really live but will be spending life gathering facts. There will
          be no passion. Passion and objective knowledge just don't go together.

          But paradox and passion go together at least much better and actually very
          well like hand and glove. We must live subjectively and passionately and we
          must live while we are trying to gain knowledge - we must live with
          paradoxes. If we are to live life as it should be lived we must live it
          passionately and in the midst of paradox.

          It's not that the more paradox one sees the more passionate one becomes
          about ones life and actions. It's that one must be passionate in the midst
          of paradox and not knowing and move ahead. Life goes on.
          Rationalism encourages us to approach life objectively and put aside
          passion. It also encourages us to reach maximum knowledge, to clean up
          paradoxes a lack of knowledge before we enter life. Sk refutes this notion.
          He is saying that passion and paradox coexist nicely.

          Sincerely,
          Don Anderson
        • don Anderson
          Jim R., I am not necessarily in disagreement with you but I m not sure I understand so here is a question. What is dogmatics and how is it objective? I am
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 18, 2005
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            Jim R.,
            I am not necessarily in disagreement with you but I'm not sure I understand
            so here is a question.
            What is dogmatics and how is it objective? I am especially interested in
            your statement: "So the majority of the book is an examination of what
            psychology can tell us about anxiety, but once it has told us all it can it
            "leaves us with dogmatics" -- which is indeed an objective field."

            I also have noticed finally that there are two of you named Jim on this
            forum. I don't notice a lot of things well because I am half blind.

            Don

            -----Original Message-----
            From: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of <none>
            Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 8:35 AM
            To: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Kierkegaardian] Paradox and Passion


            I don't think that CUP "obscured" Kierkegaard's thinking completely,
            but that it obscured "this facet" (meaning, the proper value of the
            objective) of Kierkegaard's thinking. Subjectivity by itself does not
            keep objectivity in its place: it may deny all place to objectivity
            altogether, in which case objectivity is not being kept "in its place,"
            it is being denied any place at all.

            Perhaps it would be easier to consider what place dogmatics have in a
            purely subjectively life? Yet Kierkegaard believed dogmatics had a
            place.

            I agree subjectivity is the central part of his message, though. He
            emphasized it as a necessary corretive to objectivity rum amok in his
            day (largely via Hegel, whom Kierkegaard constantly criticized but upon
            whom he was also dependent). But he did not believe subjectivity was
            the only thing, so far as I can tell.

            Jim Rovira

            --- hakoohaj <hakoohaj@...> wrote:

            > Dear Jim R.,
            >
            > I am not exactly sure what you are saying here but I think we have a
            > disagreement.
            >
            > ~~ So K. did belive the recovery of subjectivity was the most
            > important thing for his day, but not by denying any place to
            > objectivity at all -- just by keeping objectivity in its proper
            > place.
            > I think CUP tends to obscure this facet of Kierkegaard's thinking,
            > though, leaning very heavily on the subjective for its own sake at
            > times.~~
            >
            > When you say that CUP obscures Kierkegaard's thinking I see it as
            > exposing his thinking. I think this subjectivity you see him leaning
            > too heavily on is the central point of his message. Without it there
            > is no Christianity in his terms. What do you mean by keeping
            > objectivity in its proper place? Isn't that what the subjectivity
            > that
            > is the truth does?
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Rick
            >
            >
            >




            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • Médéric Laitier
            Hi Rick, Salutations Mr Rovira, A short one. I am not so sure where I stand in the state/disposition pattern. Perhaps, en marge/ of it. I fear our rickety
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 19, 2005
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              Hi Rick,
              Salutations Mr Rovira,

              A short one.

              I am not so sure where I stand in the state/disposition pattern. Perhaps,
              \en marge/ of it. I fear our rickety friend has been a bit too quick, prompt
              and diligent in projecting me in his picture, or, which is quite equivalent,
              projecting his picture over me... Unless his message was serving other less
              visible purposes...

              My take of this sort of thing is very, very, very seldom only one-sided.

              I have written something in this forum about my understanding of the spheres
              (Message links listed below) as I was discussing them with Willy and JimS. I
              think these messages remain the most accurate account of my picture of the
              spheres. Mind the originating originals or answers to by JimS and Willy if
              you want to understand how this obscure image of my unconfortable posture
              somewhat revealed on the forum film.

              Thank you.
              Amixed Meddy

              Referenced messages serving as a reference:

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/424
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/436
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/445
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/462

              Crucial contextual messages (the other are also important though...)

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/435 (JimS answer to
              424)
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/441 (JimS answer to
              436)
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kierkegaardians/message/456 (JimS answer to
              445)
            • Médéric Laitier
              Hi Richard, No need to apologise! I do not find offensive the idea of my thoughts being associated with these of Mr Brown. The only purpose of my previous
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 20, 2005
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                Hi Richard,

                No need to apologise! I do not find offensive the idea of my thoughts being
                associated with these of Mr Brown.

                The only purpose of my previous short mail was to attain a better clarity.
                Nothing more. When re-reading some of my linked message, I realised that
                JimS had been meritory (both Quite and very) to make headway in their
                message.

                Perhaps one fine day I'll succeed at expressing myself in a both precise and
                accessible manner. But this is an Art only few excel at.

                Meanwhile, I'll discuss my flaws, let them out to be misunderstood or
                criticised. So it's meant to be when you resort to go out of you (nut)shell.

                I had warned, though, I was not Een. Opacity, remember?
                Well, it is always nice reading you no matter errances. We all have, I
                suppose, our own.

                Well enough sympathising butter,
                Sincerely
                Meddy
              • don Anderson
                Jim Rovira, I started about a month ago to talk with you about how you understand K useing dogmatics. I had intended to follow up by asking the following
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 9, 2005
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                  Jim Rovira,
                  I started about a month ago to talk with you about how you understand K
                  useing dogmatics. I had intended to follow up by asking the following
                  question but I had other things come up such as a trip to the big Island for
                  2 weeks (business not peasure unfortunately).

                  Here is what you said:
                  So the majority of the book is an examination of what psychology can
                  tell us about anxiety, but once it has told us all it can it "leaves us
                  with dogmatics" -- which is indeed an objective field.

                  My question is about dogmatics being an objective field. Are you saying that
                  K says it is an objective field or is that your observation. I can't find in
                  CoA or anywhere else that he says this and I don't think it would be in
                  character.

                  Sincerely,
                  Don

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
                  [mailto:kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of <none>
                  Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 7:53 PM
                  To: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [Kierkegaardian] Paradox and Passion


                  Can I add a few things to your observations, Don?

                  I think they are essentially correct but need qualification.

                  First, Kierkegaard wasn't against objectivity per se, but against
                  Hegelian systematizing that took objectivity to the point that the
                  individual was literally lost within the system. This is absurd in
                  both CUP and his Concept of Anxiety.

                  In Concept of Anxiety, however, Kierkegaard's consistent critique of
                  Hegel (and Danish Hegelianism) is not that Hegel has a logic, but that
                  Hegel confuses the discipline of logic with the disciplines of ethics
                  or psychology or dogmatics. Part of his intent in CoA is to draw sharp
                  lines around what logic and psychology and ethics and dogmatics can
                  tell us and what they cannot, each being kept within their own
                  respective fields.

                  So the majority of the book is an examination of what psychology can
                  tell us about anxiety, but once it has told us all it can it "leaves us
                  with dogmatics" -- which is indeed an objective field.

                  So K. did belive the recovery of subjectivity was the most important
                  thing for his day, but not by denying any place to objectivity at all
                  -- just by keeping objectivity in its proper place. I think CUP tends
                  to obscure this facet of Kierkegaard's thinking, though, leaning very
                  heavily on the subjective for its own sake at times.

                  Jim Rovira

                  --- don Anderson <don@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > Kierkegaard seems to think that unless we see the world as
                  > paradoxical, we
                  > will not develop maximum passion and inwardness.
                  >
                  > I believe you have misinterpreted what SK is saying in the above
                  > quote and
                  > about subjectivity, passion, and paradox. I don't believe that SK is
                  > saying
                  > that paradox leads to passion as such or that there is a direct
                  > correlation
                  > between the amount of one and the other. He is saying in the quote
                  > above
                  > that subjectivity as opposed to objectivity leads to passionate life
                  > and
                  > actions. Passionate action is what I understand to be at least one of
                  > SK's
                  > major points in that it is necessary if one is to live a meaningful
                  > life.
                  >
                  > In order to see what SK is talking about we need to remember that all
                  > of his
                  > writings are a polemic against rationalism and rationalism is all
                  > about
                  > objective knowledge. Objective knowledge is supposed to be about
                  > suppressing
                  > passion and looking at the facts with a cold eye. Ideally the
                  > objective
                  > rationalist should not make a decision about anything until all the
                  > facts
                  > are in and the subject is transparent. Passion is out and knowledge
                  > is in.
                  >
                  > What I see SK as saying is that the existing person does not have the
                  > luxury
                  > of objectivity for at least two reasons. First one can't ever reach a
                  > place
                  > of complete or rarely even adequate knowledge before one has to
                  > engage in
                  > existential activity in pursuing life. There are always more facts to
                  > gather, more events to occur, etc. So one has to live without all the
                  > facts.



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