Kierkegaard Contra Hegel: "Either/or," a Caricatured Facsimile of "the Phenomenology of Mind"

Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin (1991)

Kierkegaard's critique of Hegel rests on the premise of Old Christianity. Old Christianity, represented in the thought and writings of Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church such as Jerome, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Aquinas, guided Kierkegaard's rebuttal of Hegel's rational challenge to God's transcendent value. Kierkegaard's central theme constitutes what it means to become a Christian. In contrast to Kierkegaard's Old Christianity, Hegel proposes a Christianity based on the primacy of human reason. Hegel's anthropocentric life-view maintains that there can be no question of good apart from a living active being-in-the-world while Kierkegaard proposes a God-centered life-view, a disjunction between the eternal values of God and the ephemeral values of man. ;Using irony, Kierkegaard assumes the task of both poet and theologian. The question posed by Kierkegaard is: Who is to write or complete such an all-encompassing system that precludes the thinker? In his failure to answer that question, the philosopher, Hegel, cuts a comic figure in Kierkegaard's reframing of The Phenomenology of Mind. As for Kierkegaard, the existential master of ceremonies in Either/Or, he argues that, when human logic transcends faith, God becomes subordinate to human reasoning
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