Kierkegaard's Regulative Sacrifice: A Post-Kantian Reading ofFear and Trembling

Abstract The present paper suggests to consider Kierkegaard?s use of Abraham?s story in Fear and Trembling in regulative terms, that is, to consider it as a model ? not for our moral behaviour but rather for our religious behaviour. To do so, I first rely on recent literature to argue that Kierkegaard should be regarded as a distinctively post-Kantian philosopher: namely, a philosopher who goes beyond Kant in a way that is nevertheless true to the spirit of Kant?s original critical philosophy. Then, I present a post-Kantian reading of Fear and Trembling, focusing on the problematic implications that result from comparing this text with Hegel?s theory of recognition. Finally, I submit that sacrifice in Fear and Trembling is a regulative notion in a Kantian sense. This interpretation addresses some of the most problematic aspects of the text. I conclude that the regulativity of sacrifice may be regarded as an important and perhaps an essential component of Kierkegaard?s overall philosophical strategy
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DOI 10.1080/09672559.2012.727012
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Jerome I. Gellmann (2001). Fear and Trembling. Faith and Philosophy 18 (1):61-74.
John Lippitt (2008). What Neither Abraham nor Johannes de Silentio Could Say. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):79-99.
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