In Steven M. Emmanuel, Jon Stewart & William McDonald (eds.), Volume 15, Tome III: Kierkegaard's Concepts: Envy to Incognito. Ashgate. pp. 231-236 (2014)

Martijn Boven
Leiden University
The Danish word 'incognito' means to appear in disguise, or to act under an unfamiliar, assumed name (or title) in order to avoid identification. As a concept, incognito occurs in several of Kierkegaard’s works, but only becomes a subject of reflection in two: the Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments by Johannes Climacus and Practice in Christianity by Anti-Climacus. Both pseudonyms develop the concept from their own perspective and must be understood on their own terms. Johannes Climacus treats incognito as a category of existence, defining it as a comic contradiction that creates a disguise in order to hide and protect the inwardness of the existing individual. However, Anti-Climacus treats incognito as a category of communication. He defines it as “a sign of contradiction” that creates a disguise in order to activate and disclose the inwardness of a listener or reader.
Keywords Kierkegaard  Incognito  Humor  Communication  Disguise  Existentialism  Comic  Existence  Inwardness  Aesthetics
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