The Loss of the World in Kierkegaard's Ethics

Review of Metaphysics 15 (4):602 - 620 (1962)

The effect intended by Kierkegaard's rhetoric is a certain self-relationship, which cannot be formulated and-given out as doctrine or information, but which the reader is required to achieve on his own. The books provide only the occasion, the impetus, and the demand. For example, the proposition, "Truth is subjectivity," is not a philosophical indicative, but a rhetorical imperative. Translated into the language of personal address, it says: "You reader! Whatever you believe, whatever you claim to know, remember in fear and trembling that you hold this faith and stake this claim solely on the strength of your own freedom to do so, with no guarantee more ultimate than your own decision, at your own risk, and on your own responsibility!" This charge to the reader, which is the real and indirect import of "Truth is subjectivity," is as far as it could be from the epistemological relativism which the proposition immediately suggests. What the reader is to get from "Truth is subjectivity" is not the comforting assurance that "it doesn't matter what you believe," but rather the existential terror--that glimpse of the abyss which is itself a confrontation with the Absolute--the terror that ensues when "the uncertainty of all things is thought infinitely."
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph196215471
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,686
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
15 ( #527,407 of 2,243,065 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #1,042,900 of 2,243,065 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature