David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal of Philosophical Studies 8 (1):1 – 22 (2000)
Against influential views to the contrary, notably formulated in Henry Allison's 'Christianity and Nonsense', it is argued that Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript is not in itself, as a whole or in any part, an elaborate joke. The work contains a serious though negative argument designed to locate the place of faith in relation to reason. Given that the text itself makes claims on our reason in this way but that its pseudonymous author is a self-styled humorist, the question of where the work's humour lies needs to be freshly confronted. After humour has been distinguished from comedy (as a point of view from which unconscious comedy in the enactment of life-views becomes visible), and both from absurdity, it is concluded that a fundamental aim of Postscript, once the negative argument has been given, is to cast light self-referentially on the comedy of humour itself. Finally, in asking what bearing Postscript's humour can have on whatever philosophy means to us today, two main respects (and areas) are indicated in which current philosophical investigation may be seen to be potentially comic from a (broadened and non-parochial) Postscriptian perspective.
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