Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 26 (1):241-269 (2021)

This article argues that Kierkegaard’s account of emotions has something important to contribute to contemporary philosophy of emotions. The argument proceeds in five steps. The first section starts by outlining two influential paradigms in contemporary philosophy of emotions: the feeling theories and the cognitive theories. The second section then turns to a critique of two prominent approaches that read Kierkegaard’s conception of emotions as belonging to the cognitive theories. The third section presents Kierkegaard as a phenomenologist of emotional ambiguity, while the fourth section attempts to outline a taxonomy of Kierkegaard’s phenomenology of emotional experience. The fifth and final section argues that Kierkegaard’s primary contribution to contemporary philosophy of emotions is to be found in his concept of anxiety as the experience of human freedom particularly with respect to the ambiguity of feeling and understanding characteristic of this fundamental affective phenomenon.
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DOI 10.1515/kierke-2021-0011
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