Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 26 (1):431-457 (2021)

Petr Vaškovic
Charles University, Prague
The present study poses a simple question, namely, what are the specific forces that might at times hinder rather than advance individual moral development? To answer this inquiry, I will investigate the writings of Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky, examining the two aesthetic protagonists found in their works—Johannes the Seducer and Dmitri Karamazov. I will utilise the Kierkegaardian framework of the three existential stages to illustrate that it is an over-reliance on gratification, coupled with an instrumental approach towards beings that not only prevents these two aesthetes from behaving morally, but also from even recognising the ethical perspective as a viable existential position.
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DOI 10.1515/kierke-2021-0018
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