Kierkegaardian vision and the concrete other

Continental Philosophy Review 39 (4):393-413 (2006)
The ethics expressed in Kierkegaard’s Works of Love has been subject to persistent criticism for its perceived indifference to concrete persons and failure to attend to the other in their individual specificity. Recent defenses of Works of Love have focused in large part on the role of vision in the text, showing the supposed “blind” empty formalism of the emphasis on the category of “the neighbor” to serve a normative model of seeing the other correctly. However, when this problem is viewed in the broader context of Kierkegaard’s phenomenology of moral vision, two further, thus far unanswered, problems emerge: How can we see the other and the moral demand they represent at the same time, and how can we see the other and our own condition at the same time? This paper draws on other Kierkegaardian texts to show how Kierkegaard’s model of moral vision allows for the simultaneity in vision necessary to overcome these challenges.
Keywords Philosophy   Political Philosophy   Philosophy of Man   Phenomenology
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-006-9040-3
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