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See also: anxiety - fear - emotion

La Paura (1954) - Roberto Rossellini
Image sourced here.


Angst is a German, Dutch and nordic word for fear or anxiety. It is used in English to describe a more intense feeling of internal emotional strife.

A different but related meaning is attributed to Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). Kierkegaard used the word angst (Danish, meaning "dread") to describe a profound and deep-seated spiritual condition of insecurity and despair in the free human being. Where the animal is a slave to its God-given instincts but always confident in its own actions, Kierkegaard believed that the freedom given to mankind leaves the human in a constant fear of failing its responsibilities to God. Kierkegaard's concept of angst is considered to be an important stepping stone for 20th-century existentialism.

While Kierkegaard's feeling of angst is fear of actual responsibility to God, in modern use, angst is broadened to include general frustration associated with the conflict between actual responsibilities to self, one's principles, and others (possibly including God). Still, the angst in alternative music may be more accessible to most audiences than the esoteric tradition of existentialism. The term "angst" is now widely used with a negative and derisive connotation that mocks the expression of a common adolescent experience of malaise. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angst [Dec 2005]

See also: emotion - existentialism

Either/Or : A Fragment of Life (1843) - Soren Kierkegaard

Either/Or : A Fragment of Life (1843) - Soren Kierkegaard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In Either/Or, using the voices of two characters - the aesthetic young man of part one, called simply 'A', and the ethical Judge Vilhelm of the second section - Kierkegaard reflects upon the search for a meaningful existence, contemplating subjects as diverse as Mozart, drama, boredom, and, in the famous Seducer's Diary, the cynical seduction and ultimate rejection of a young, beautiful woman. A masterpiece of duality, Either/Or is a brilliant exploration of the conflict between the aesthetic and the ethical - both meditating ironically and seductively upon Epicurean pleasures, and eloquently expounding the noble virtues of a morally upstanding life. --via Amazon.de

Søren Kierkegaard in 1843, in which he explores the "phases" or "stages" of existence. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Either/Or [Dec 2005]

Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813 – November 11, 1855), a 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian, is generally recognized as the first existentialist philosopher. Philosophically, he bridged the gap that existed between Hegelian philosophy and what was to become Existentialism. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelian philosophy of his time, and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Danish church. Much of his work deals with religious problems such as the nature of faith, the institution of the Christian church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with existential choices. Because of this, Kierkegaard's work is sometimes characterized as Christian existentialism and existential psychology. Kierkegaard's work can resist interpretation, since he wrote most of his early work under various pseudonyms, and often these pseudo-authors will comment on the works of the earlier pseudo-authors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%B8ren_Kierkegaard [Dec 2005]

See also: Denmark - 1840s - philosophy - existentialism

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