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Søren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855)

Lifespan: 1813 - 1855

Related: 1800s literature - angst - philosophy - Denmark - existentialism

Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this. . . . The gods were bored, and so they created man. Adam was bored because he was alone, and so Eve was created. Thus boredom entered the world, and increased in proportion to the increase of population. Adam was bored alone; then Adam and Eve were bored together; then Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel were bored en famille; then the population of the world increased, and the peoples were bored en masse. To divert themselves they conceived the idea of constructing a tower high enough to reach the heavens. This idea is itself as boring as the tower was high, and constitutes a terrible proof of how boredom gained the upper hand. --Either/Or : A Fragment of Life (1843) - Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard lived before the existentialist movement began, and it is probable he would have rejected many tenets of Sartre's existentialism. Yet, he was of the first philosophers dealing with the problems of human existence in ways recognizable as forerunners of Sartrean existentialism. [Aug 2006]


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]

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]

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