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Jon Stewart Associate Professor
Course Description: In this course we will explore how the Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard (1813-‐55) deals with the problems associated with relativism, the lack of meaning and the undermining of religious faith that are typical of modern life. His penetrating analyses are still highly relevant today and have been seen as insightful for the leading figures of Existentialism, Post-‐Structuralism and Post-‐ Modernism. It is often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so widespread in modernity. Kierkegaard gave one of the most penetrating analyses of this complex phenomenon. But somewhat surprisingly he seeks insight into it not in any modern thinker but rather in an ancient one, the Greek philosopher Socrates. In his famous work The Concept of Irony Kierkegaard examines different forms of subjectivism and relativism as they are conceived as criticisms of traditional culture. He characterizes these different tendencies under the heading of “irony.” He realizes that once critical reflection has destroyed traditional values, there is no way to go back. But yet the way forward is uncertain. As the modern movements such as Existentialism, Post-‐Structuralism and Post-‐Modernism reveal, the issues that Kierkegaard faced are still among the central problems of philosophy today. Part 1: Kierkegaard on Socratic Irony (Full text titles for abbreviations and links are listed at end of syllabus) Week 1 Course Introduction: The Life and Work of Kierkegaard as a “Socratic Task” Plato: The Euthyphro pp. 1-‐16 Plato: The Apology pp. 17-‐37 Week 2 Kierkegaard, Martensen and Hegelianism at the University of Copenhagen Hegel: The Socratic Method Hist. of Phil., vol. 1, pp. 384-‐389, pp. 397-‐406 Hegel: The Daimon Hist. of Phil., vol. 1, pp. 421-‐425 Hegel: The Fate of Socrates Hist. of Phil., vol. 1, pp. 430-‐448 Supplemental Reading Hegel: The Principle of the Good Hist. of Phil., vol. 1, pp. 406-‐411 Kierkegaard: Journal AA:12 KJN, vol. 1, pp. 19-‐22
Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity
278-‐289 Part 2: Kierkegaard on Romantic Irony Week 4 Kierkegaard. vol. pp. 127-‐143 .. 286-‐301 Kierkegaard: “Irony as a Controlled Element. pp. the Irony of Socrates” Supplemental Reading Kierkegaard: “Introduction” CI. 241-‐271 of Irony. pp. Supernaturalism” pp. pp. pp. of Phil.” Journal DD:208. 167-‐183. 3.. pp. pp. pp. 9-‐12 Kierkegaard: “Hegel’s View of Socrates” CI. 193-‐197 Supplemental Reading Kierkegaard: “The View Made Necessary” CI. Møller and Friedrich von Schlegel Kierkegaard: “Irony After Fichte: Fichte” CI. pp. 83-‐119 the Present Age Week 5 Kierkegaard. pp. 3. Heiberg and History Kierkegaard: “The World-‐Historical Validity CI. 1. 17-‐43 Kierkegaard: “Problema I” FT. 506-‐508 Part 3: Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task Week 6 The Conception of Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task: 1843 The Trip to Berlin and the Beginning of the Authorship Kierkegaard: “Diapsalmata” EO1.M. pp. 324-‐329 the Truth of Irony” Supplemental Reading Hegel: Fichte Hist. pp. pp. KJN. pp. of Phil.2 Week 3 Kierkegaard’s View of Socrates Kierkegaard: “The Daimon of Socrates” CI. CI. pp. 479-‐506 Hegel: The More Important Followers of Fichte Hist. vol. 157-‐167 Kierkegaard: “The Condemnation of Socrates” CI. 272-‐286 Kierkegaard: “Irony After Fichte: Schlegel” CI. 219-‐237 Heiberg: On the Significance of Philosophy for pp. vol. 54-‐67 Supplemental Reading Martensen: “Rationalism. P. 198-‐214 Kierkegaard: “The Conflict between the Old and the New Soap-‐Cellar.
3-‐8 Witness’ ” Kierkegaard: The Moment. (Vol. p. pp. pp. pp. 24. 1). trans. trans. (Available at http://books. vols. 381-‐384 Week 8 Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task: 1846-‐55 The Second Half of the Authorship and the Attack on the Church Kierkegaard: The Point of View PV. pp.google. 9-‐10.org/details/lectureshistoryp03hegeuoft) Heiberg: On the Significance of Philosophy for the Present Age in Heiberg’s On the Significance of Philosophy for the Present Age and Other Texts. pp. 124-‐127 Kierkegaard: “Was Bishop Mynster a ‘Truth M. ed. = Lectures on the History of Philosophy. vol. pp. pp. 54-‐55. Reitzel 2005 (Texts from Golden Age Denmark.3 Kierkegaard: “A Word of Thanks to Professor COR. 5. 184-‐188 Kierkegaard: “The Issue in Fragments” CUP. in Socrates of Athens. p.org/details/lecturesonhisto00hegegoog) (Vol.mtp. Copenhagen: C. 3. . 68-‐69 Kierkegaard: “The Socratic Definition of Sin” SUD. pp. 16. (Available courtesy of Museum Tusculanum Press: see http://www. (Available at http://books. Haldane. 159-‐170 Kierkegaard: Stages on Life’s Way SLW. pp.ku. of Phil. by Reidar Thomte in collaboration with Albert B. pp. pp. 37-‐48 Kierkegaard: The Concept of Anxiety CA. pp. 481-‐485 Kierkegaard: “Becoming Subjective” CUP. Trübner 1892-‐96. pp. no. London: K. and trans. Trench. Paul. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1980.google. trans. by Jon Stewart. p. 134-‐135 Kierkegaard: “Preface VIII” P.asp?eln=203519) Kierkegaard: CA = The Concept of Anxiety. pp. 3 available at http://archive.S.dk/details. Anderson.A. by E. trans. by Cathal Woods and Ryan Pack. 17-‐21 Heiberg” Week 7 Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task: 1844-‐45 The Development of the Pseudonymous Works Kierkegaard: “The Absolute Paradox” PF.dk/books?id=v53iDJDi_M0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false) Plato: Socrates’ Defense (The Apology).hum.dk/books?id=v53iDJDi_M0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false) Hegel: Hist. pp. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press 1955. 1-‐3. 10 M. in Socrates of Athens. p. 1 available at http://archive. 81-‐83. pp. 90-‐100 Kierkegaard: “The God-‐Man is a Sign” PC. by Cathal Woods and Ryan Pack. 83-‐119. 340-‐347 Texts: Plato: The Euthyphro.
vol. Hong and Edna H. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2009 (Texts from Golden Age Denmark.asp?eln=203519) Kierkegaard: PC = Practice in Christianity. or De omnibus dubitandum est. Articles Related to the Writings. Hong. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Supernaturalism and the principium exclusi medii.hum. Hong and Edna H. by Howard V. vol. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1985. pp. pp. Kierkegaard: EO1 = Either/Or 1. Hong. Kierkegaard: PV = The Point of View. Supernaturalism” and the Debate about Mediation.dk/details. trans. by Jon Stewart. by Howard V. by Howard V.dk/details.4 Kierkegaard: CI = The Concept of Irony. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1989.hum. trans. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1982.” in Mynster’s “Rationalism. by Howard V. 157-‐180. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1991. trans. Martensen: “Rationalism. by Niels Jørgen Cappelørn et al. by Howard V. by Howard V. ed. by Howard V.. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1992. (Available courtesy of Museum Tusculanum Press: see http://www. Hong. (Available courtesy of Museum Tusculanum Press: see http://www. trans. and trans. 1-‐2. Kierkegaard: FT = Fear and Trembling. trans. ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press 2007-‐. Kierkegaard: PF = Philosophical Fragments. trans. Hong. Hong and Edna H. Kierkegaard: M = The Moment and Late Writings. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1988. Hong and Edna H. Hong. vol. trans. trans. ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1998. Kierkegaard: SLW = Stages on Life’s Way. Hong. Hong and Edna H. Kierkegaard: KJN = Kierkegaard’s Journals and Notebooks. by Jon Stewart. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1998. Kierkegaard: SUD = The Sickness unto Death. 6). trans. trans. Hong. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1980. Hong and Edna H. Hong and Edna H. Hong and Edna H. Kierkegaard: CUP = Concluding Unscientific Postscript. by Howard V. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1987. and trans. trans. by Howard V. vols.ku. 127-‐143. by Howard V. 5). Johannes Climacus. by Howard V. 1.mtp. Hong and Edna H. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1983.ku. Hong. Kierkegaard: COR = The Corsair Affair. Hong.mtp.asp?eln=203519) . Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press 2011 (Texts from Golden Age Denmark. Kierkegaard: P = “Preface VIII” in Heiberg’s Perseus and Other Texts.
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