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Re: Looking for a quotation....

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  • Kenneth
    Jim R, Kierkegaard has never been a candidate to be anyone s religion. He has never determined anyone s belief. Should his works and all human literature
    Message 1 of 85 , Dec 5, 2009
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      Jim R,

      Kierkegaard has never been a candidate to be anyone's religion. He has
      never determined anyone's belief. Should his works and all human
      literature perish, every existing individual human being would face
      precisely the same tasks with the same tools. The tasks are important
      because they exist. The tools (inwardness and the qualitative
      dialectic) were not invented by man. That K or anyone else has said
      anything relevant is 'accidental,' not essential.

      If I have misunderstood being labeled idolatrous, I beg to be disabused.

      Kenneth A


      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, James Rovira <jamesrovira@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Kenneth -- I'm finally going to get to my reading of one of the
      quotations
      > you provide. Just one for now.
      >
      > My view of the word "dialectic" is that it is not in itself associated
      with
      > any specific content, but that it is a way of framing all kinds of
      specific
      > content.
      >
      > I believe the same about Kierkegaard's use of the phrases
      "quantitative" and
      > "qualitative" dialectic. We could have either about anything. The
      specific
      > definition of these terms depend upon the uses to which they are put
      in
      > context.
      >
      > Qualitative refers to a fundamental change in quality.
      >
      > Quantitative refers to an increase in quantity -- but what we have is
      always
      > more of the same.
      >
      > Applying these words to a dialectic describes the content or outcome
      of a
      > dialectic, the word "dialectic" probably being understood in a
      Hegelian
      > sense as I described in an earlier post. A thesis arises, gives birth
      to an
      > antithesis, the two resolve themselves into a synthesis (very
      simplistic
      > version of Hegel's dialectic, but this is email). The
      thesis/antithesis
      > pair means a contradiction of some kind is involved.
      >
      > A quantitative dialectic brings opposing forces to bear upon one
      another, or
      > faces some kind of contradiction, and produces as its synthesis more
      of the
      > same basic forces.
      >
      > A qualitative dialectic faces a contradiction and takes a leap, so
      that the
      > concept (or subjectivity, etc.) becomes something completely different
      > (echoes of Monty Python).
      >
      > So in this quotation:
      >
      > <<When one is indisposed to make the leap, so indisposed that this
      passion
      > makes the chasm infinitely wide, then the most ingenious contrivance
      for the
      > purpose will help one not at all. Lessing sees very clearly that the
      leap,
      > as being decisive, is subject to a qualitative dialectic, and permits
      no
      > approximating transition. His answer is therefore a jest. It is very
      far
      > from being dogmatic; it is entirely correct dialectically, and it is
      > personally evasive. Instead of hurriedly discovering the principle of
      > mediation, he makes use of his old legs and his heavy head. To be
      sure,
      > anyone who has young legs and a light head can doubtless leap.
      >
      > CUP, Copyright ~ 1941, by* **Princeton University Press*, BOOK TWO -
      THE
      > SUBJECTIVE PROBLEM; PART TWO � HOW THE SUBJECTIVITY OF THE
      INDIVIDUAL MUST
      > BE QUALIFIED; CHAPTER II � THESES POSSIBLY OR ACTUALLY
      ATTRIBUTABLE TO
      > LESSING, p. 95>>
      >
      > The subject under discussion here is a leap from one state to another,
      say,
      > from the aesthetic to the ethical sphere or from the ethical to the
      > religious. The phrase "approximating transition" refers to what a
      > "quantitative" dialectic would look like. If we're an aesthetic
      > personality, we gradually look more and more and more like an ethical
      > personality while remaining an aesthetic personality. We come right up
      to
      > being an ethical personality...but remain, essentially, an aesthetic
      > personality who has become very like an ethical personality.
      >
      > But a subjectivity engaged in a qualitative dialectic would face the
      > contradictions involved in an ethical existence and make the leap --
      with no
      > approximations -- to being an ethical personality.
      >
      > The same would be true of the person making a leap from the ethical to
      the
      > religious.
      >
      > Just so that you know, these are all concepts to me. Kierkegaard is
      not my
      > religion. He does not determine my belief about myself or my life.
      Should
      > his works all perish, I would continue just fine. He is useful to me,
      > though, in that he poses questions that are important to me (because I
      have
      > decided that they are important apart from anything he may have said).
      I do
      > not define myself in terms of K's philosophy nor do I define others in
      those
      > terms. I think it is idolatrous to do so, and betrays a fundamental
      > misunderstanding of the material itself to do so.
      >
      > I honestly don't think K would have it any other way.
      >
      > Jim R
      >
    • James Rovira
      I agree, Don. What I would say now, to clarify my previous post, is that the author of E/O I is himself essentially a German Romantic but is employing
      Message 85 of 85 , Dec 9, 2009
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        I agree, Don.  What I would say now, to clarify my previous post, is that the author of E/O I is himself essentially a German Romantic but is employing Hegelian models of thought to explicate his views of an aesthetic personality.  

        But once I've said it this way, the aesthete's reflective thought verges on self-reflective thought.  

        I think that both the authors of E/O I and II follow Hegelian models to frame their thought, the good Judge arguing that the ethical is a synthesis proceeding from the contradictions inherent in the aesthetic -- so he argues for the aesthetic validity of marriage, something the aesthete hasn't considered and probably won't, regardless of what the Judge says.       

        Jim R

        On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 6:57 PM, Don Anderson <don@...> wrote:

        JimR, you said:

         

        I'm not sure Don is wrong about seeing Hegel, but I do certainly agree with him that E/O II presents a limited outlook, one that K would not agree with himself.  E/O I is strongly Hegelian.  E/O II may be more Kantian.  It is not yet Kierkegaardian, though, in my opinion.

         

        Thank you for this.  I would just comment that I think E/O I is  not so much Hegelian (or German idealist) as it is the representation romanticism. As Lillian Swenson remarks in her “forward by the Reviser”, volume 1 is written by a “young romanticist” and volume 2 is written by a “mature ethical idealist.” Both have elements of Hegelianism as well as Kant, Fichte, The Greeks, and others. They rather stand alone as a representative of their position toward existence.

         

        Don



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