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RE: [Kierkegaardians] Is the immediate aesthete innocent?

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  • Don Anderson
    JimR, we are so far apart in our interpretations of K s texts that it just is not worth it to attempt any serious discussion. Have a nice day. Don From:
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 3, 2010
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      JimR, we are so far apart in our interpretations of K’s texts that it just is not worth it to attempt any serious discussion. Have a nice day.



      From: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com [mailto:kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Rovira
      Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2010 3:12 PM
      To: kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Kierkegaardians] Is the immediate aesthete innocent?



      First thing to understand, Don -- it's not my "position": it's my reading of Kierkegaard's texts.  I am not representing my own theology when I describe K.  I disagree with K on several points.  I am attempting to write descriptively.

      Why do you say "so called immediate pole" when the title of the section from which I quoted is "the immediate-erotic stages"?  Have you picked up a copy of E/O 1 yet and read the sections I referenced?  There's no point in my going on with my own descriptions if we aren't reading the same text.

      However, I will try to answer your questions about sin and guilt.  There are two ways to understand sin and guilt in Kierkegaard's writings -- subjectively, as they are understood by the person, and objectively, as they are attributed to the person by God.  K is of course primarily concerned with our subjective understanding of sin and guilt. 

      From God's point of view in K's writing, so far as I can tell, there's no difference between sin and guilt.  Both words equally describe the same objective and subjective state of the individual in sin.  I think Haufniensis works from this point of view, but I think that Climacus does not.

      From the point of view of the person, so far as I can tell from K's works, and perhaps as explained by Climacus, sin does not really exist as sin until the leap into RB.  Guilt exists prior to that leap, of course, but it is not really understood as sin by the individual until the leap into RB.

      Now...when does guilt enter consciousness, according to K's works?  I'm not sure.  It may exist in the reflective-aesthetic.  It certainly exists immediately prior to the leap into the ethical sphere and in the ethical sphere.  I would say there is no qualitative change until the leap into the ethical sphere.

      Back to my little map of the aesthetic sphere from E/O 1 -- slightly modified to make it clearer:

                     Aesthetic Sphere                            <---leap---->              Ethical stage.
      Immediate pole  <----->  Reflective pole
      Dreaming desire (lowest state) -- starting point for Haufniensis's thoughts about innocence.
      Seeking desire (intermediate state)
      Desiring desire (most developed state)

      I would say guilt does not exist, so far as Haufniensis is concerned, in the state of desiring desire, which he identifies with innocence.  Sin enters the individual's life by the first sin, for that matter, so the person does not experience either guilt or sin, really and individually, until after s/he has transgressed that first command. 

      Now I don't believe that Haufniensis identifies innocence with the -entire- aesthetic sphere.  Just the state of dreaming desire within the aesthetic sphere.  Some sense of guilt may come in anywhere along the way, but the aesthete who wrote E/O 1 isn't too concerned about guilt. 

      Jim R

      On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 7:53 PM, Don Anderson <don@...> wrote:


      JimR, so am I correct to say that either you do not think that persons in the aesthetic sphere are not guilty or that sin has not yet entered by the qualitative leap (see p. 47) Perhaps you are saying that your so-called immediate poll of the aesthetic sphere is prior to sin and guilt. I am asking you where you draw this line. Where does the qualitative leap where sin enters take place? Is it before or after the immediate pole where innocence resides or is found. This is not clear to me. If I were to guess I would have to say, based on my present understanding of your view from our discussion that it does not occur until in the midst of the aesthetic stage. Please correct any misunderstanding I have of your position.


    • Don Anderson
      David J Kangas, Kierkegaard s Instant: On Beginnings Indiana University Press, 2007. The title pretty well says it all. Kangas makes a close reading of
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 3, 2010
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        David J Kangas, “Kierkegaard’s Instant: On Beginnings” Indiana University Press, 2007.

        The title pretty well says it all. Kangas makes a close reading of several of K’s early pseudonymous texts including CI, E/O, F&T, and CA. He reads them from the point of view of K’s philosophy of existence. He explicates K’s similarity to and difference from the German Idealists and his reliance upon the mystical apophatic  tradition which was very influential on the idealists especially Schelling and the Danish romantics.


        Amy Laura Hall, “Kierkegaard and the Treachery of Love,” Cambridge UP, 2002.

        A close reading of E/O II from the p.o.v. of “The Works of Love.”


        Robert L. Perkins, International Kierkegaard Commentary,” Vol. 3, p 51-72.

        Interesting discussion of the five Danish words for different levels of desire. Clearly there is more to sort out. A great subject for study.



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