Freedom, Responsibility, and the Concept of Anxiety

While the <span class='Hi'>concept</span> of sin plays a pivotal role in the ethico-religious philosophies of <span class='Hi'>Kierkegaard</span> and Kant, both struggle to provide an adequate account of the nature of sin. Kant’s ethical interpretation improves signifi cantly on the traditional theological account by introducing the notion of individual responsibility, but it ultimately fails to provide an explanation of the psychological mechanisms of the fall. <span class='Hi'>Kierkegaard</span> tries to unite the Kantian conception of responsibility with an essentially Hegelian interpretation of the fall, using the <span class='Hi'>concept</span> of <span class='Hi'>anxiety</span> as the glue. Contrary to usual opinion, it is argued here that far from resolving the difficulties of the Kantian account, <span class='Hi'>Kierkegaard</span>’s interpretation only serves to multiply them. But it is also shown that <span class='Hi'>Kierkegaard</span>’s analysis of the phenomenon that he calls “<span class='Hi'>anxiety</span> about sin” does provide the materials for an alternative interpretation of the origin of moral evil in man.
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DOI 10.5840/ipq200444447
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