Copelston on S Kierkegaard

p.341  K’s ‘dialectic’ is different from Hegel’s

spirit actualises itself as the individual

movement: by choice, not thinking; by an act, not a leap

not synthesis but choice between alternatives

self-willed commitment


1st stage of the aesthetic – 1st volume of Either/Or and first part of Stages on Life’s Way

p.342  aesthetic man strives after infinite… in sense of bad infinite.. nothing else bu tthe absence of all limitation .. form of life very formlessness <typified by Don Juan>

a question of choice : either-or

2nd stage is Ethical: form & consistency <typified by Socrates>

p.343  marriage as an ethical institution

ethical: can produce the tragic-hero (Soctrates; Antigone) .. but doesn’t understand sin

every man a mixture of infinite and finite; a movement towards God as spirit

p.344  dialectic of discontinuity ; transition made by choice ; emphasises will

faith: an adventure, leap, risk, uncertainty; self-commitment

act of faith: beyond speculative philosophy; must be constantly repeated (not once & for all)  {{think here of Cavell’s trope of remarriage as the model of the moral, the ethical}}

Christ is the Paradox

p.345  his famous interpretation of truth as subjectivity; embraces uncertainty with passion of the infinite (Concluding Postscript, p.182)