Can Wolfram’s Parzifal shed light on Kierkegaard’s three (and more) stages? Can the fact that Cervantes or Jean Paul is a common reference for both Thomas Carlyle and Kierkegaard shed light on either of the latter? Some might claim that by widening the lens of comparative literature we tend to lose sight of what is singular in great writers. Professor Ziolkowski’s readers can come to their own conclusions in the present case, but before doing so, or even if they refrain, (...) they will have been given an uncommonly rich fare of resemblances, comparisons, possible influences, and analogies in which a less well researched side of Kierkegaard comes refreshingly to view. The Literary Kierkegaard’s theme is .. (shrink)
How we share the world, what conceptual framework might allow us to grasp the sharing, once the bleak world-in-itself is unavailable and all we have are our personalised worlds, remains a total mystery. Science can get along quite well without solving it, but cosmologists need to take it seriously. For philosophers, however, that the world we take for granted is a conceptual mess poses a problem.
Kierkegaard and Philosophy makes many of the most important papers on Kierkegaard available in one place for the first time. These seventeen essays, written over a period of over twenty years, have all been substantially revised or specially prepared for this collection, with a new introduction by the author. In the first part, Alastair Hannay concentrates on Kierkegaard's central philosophical writings, offering closely text-based accounts of the slient concepts Kierkegaard uses. The second part shows the relevance of other thinkers' treatments (...) of shared themes, pointing our where they differ from Kierkegaard. The concluding chapter provides a reason Kierkegaard himself would give for disagreeing with those who claim his texts are infinitely interpretable. Written by the world's foremost Kierkegaard scholar and translator, Kierkegaard and Philosophy is an indispensible resource for all students of Kierkegaard's work. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This article selectively surveys recent work touching consciousness. It discusses some recent arguments and positions with a view to throwing light on a working principle of much influential philosophical psychology, namely that the first?person point of view is theoretically redundant. The discussion is divided under a number of headings corresponding to specific functions that have been attributed to the first?person viewpoint, from the experience of something it is like to undergo physical processes, to the presence of selfhood, mental substance, meaning, (...) understanding, and value. Arguments indicating limitations of the working principle are adduced, as well as arguments indicating possible exploitations of those limitations by first?personalist positions. Although some of the latter also have limitations, the direction in which the examination tends is that of a progressive widening of the concept of consciousness. (shrink)
Ingmar Pörn (Inquiry 27 , nos. 2?3) claims that certain ideas of Kierkegaard's can illuminate a notion of the self articulated in action?theoretical terms. Through a reconstruction of Kierkegaard's concept of despair, couched in these terms, Pörn aims to show how these ideas can contribute to the study of the self. Because he misconstrues an important distinction in Kierkegaard's account of selfhood, Pörn fails to show this. It remains uncertain what use the study of the self would have for Kierkegaard's (...) notion of selfhood, and whether an action?theoretical analysis is capable of bringing out whatever may be of interest in it. (shrink)
The word 'sceptic' usually refers to a theoretical figure whose philosophical importance lies exclusively in his challenge to any attempt to justify the belief in the possibility of knowledge. But the label was once applied to living persons - the so-called Pyrrhonists - whose scepticism encompassed a way of life. Following Sextus Empiricus's portrayal of the Pyrrhonists, Arne Naess has provided comprehensive arguments both in rebuttal of the frequent claims either that scepticism is logically inconsistent or that at least it (...) is impossible to put into practice, and in support of scepticism as a fruitful philosophical attitude. The present essay attempts a critical consolidation of Naess's case for scepticism by drawing more explicitly than he does on his work in empirical semantics. The notion of degrees of preciseness is used to outline a philosophically interesting rationale for the Pyrrhonist's persistent abstention from any act or action that commits him to the truth of a proposition, and also to indicate why possible, or even inevitable lapses on the Pyrrhonist's part need not seriously prejudice either his status as a sceptic or the philosophical value of his sceptical ideal. (shrink)
The author criticizes mr bogan's article entitled "was wittgenstein a psychologist?" by arguing that mr bogan's non-Psychologistic account of certain of wittgenstein's writings does not require the interpretations which he gave to them. (staff).