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Title: What Kierkegaard Means to Me
Contributor(s): McDonald, William (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: Kierkegaard has meant very different things to me than he does now, and no doubt will mean different things again. His capacity for revealing new riches whenever my perspective changes, is one of the perennial joys in his work. The history of my engagement with Kierkegaard is crucial to what he means to me. My first encounter with him was in an undergraduate class on existentialism, when I read 'Concluding Unscientific Postscript'. My philosophical training to that point had been overwhelmingly in analytic philosophy, and I found Climacus's emphasis on the how of subjective appropriation of the truth an exhilarating contrast to the scientific, logical weight of mere objectivity. From my point of view, analytic philosophy too often concerned itself with trivial, impersonal problems. Climacus opened up a realm of seriousness, earnestness, and passion with which to pursue thinking. He also personalized philosophy and demonstrated the importance of imagination for the modality of possibility. This fed into my own passion for fiction, with its capacity to communicate through concrete situations, rounded characters, and points of view. When I had to decide upon a dissertation topic for my PhD, Kierkegaard leaped out, since his writing encompasses genres and discourses as diverse as poetry, the novel, the diary, homiletic and devotional literature, philosophy, psychology, and theology. Writing my dissertation need not be the dry, disengaged chore I anticipated in analytic philosophy, but could be a delightful aesthetic romp. It would take me to the other side of the world to live in the land of Hamlet and Hans Christian Andersen, under the stars of Tycho Brahe. Kierkegaard was an excuse for a personal adventure.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Name: One Day Kierkegaard Conference: "Kierkegaard and Christianity" & "What Kierkegaard Means to Us Today?", Seoul, Republic of Korea, 6th of August, 2008
Source of Publication: Proceedings of The Kierkegaard Round Table Sessions in WCP & One Day Kierkegaard Conference in Seoul, Korea, p. 100-103
Publisher: Korea Kierkegaard Academy and Institute of Philosophy, Seoul National University
Place of Publication: Seoul, Republic of Korea
Field of Research (FOR): 220315 Philosophy of Religion
220307 Hermeneutic and Critical Theory
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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