Review of The Paradoxical Rationality of Søren Kierkegaard [Book Review]

Antony Aumann
Northern Michigan University
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) has often been cast as an irrationalist -- an enemy of reason, logic, and perhaps even truth. It is easy to see why. Some of his works encourage us to "crucify" our understanding or to take a leap of faith beyond the evidence.[1] We also encounter texts suggesting that passionate beliefs are more important than true ones.[2] Perhaps his most frequently read book, Fear and Trembling, lauds Abraham for following God's commands "by virtue of the absurd."[3] Finally, a number of passages encourage us to accept "the absolute paradox" or "the contradiction" of the God-man, Jesus Christ.[4] Richard McCombs joins a growing chorus of scholars who reject this view. Indeed, there is something approaching a consensus among specialists that Kierkegaard is not as irrational as he appears. What sets McCombs apart is that he also defends a more ambitious thesis. In addition to downplaying the irrationality of Kierkegaard, he maintains that Kierkegaard is actually a "robustly rational thinker" (7).
Keywords Kierkegaard  Philosophy of Religion
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Faith and Reason in Kierkegaard.F. Russell Sullivan - 2009 - University Press of America.
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