Iphigenia vs. Abraham: Problematizing the Knight of Faith in Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling"

Philosophy Today 58 (3):393-409 (2014)
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Abstract

The story of the binding of Isaac, also known as the akedah , has been the subject of many important philosophical commentaries and discussions. One of these is Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, first published in 1843. Comparing Kierkegaard’s characterization of Abraham as the paradigm of the knight of faith with the character of Iphigenia from Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis, it becomes apparent that Iphigenia exhibits characteristics that make her fit the same paradigm. In order to account for the behavior of both Abraham and Iphigenia, I use Aristotle’s notion of ἕξις as it appears in Nicomachean Ethics II.5

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