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Notes on video lecture:
Introduction to Kierkegaard
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
Herodotus, aporia, Irony, sciences, abstract, single, impoverished, Aristophanes, limited, 19th, relativism, Hebrew, seven, Danish, Romanticism, bourgeois, Hegel, metaphor, existentialist, positive, Eckersberg
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)
first                              philosopher
fondness for                 , irony and parables
how one lives as a "             individual"
priority to concrete human reality over                  thinking
personal choice and commitment
critic of idealist intellectuals of his time such as Hegel, Goethe and Hans Christian Andersen
ask yourself how much time you spend using your cell phone and computer today, that will tell you how different you are from one or two generations back
these constant changes make people feel insecure
things that people have done all their lives suddenly become obsolete
Kierkegaard saw many of these kinds of changes coming in the 19th century
scholars argue whether Kierkegaard was a philosophy, theologian, inspirational author, literary writer, psychologist, or something else all-together
his highly creative form of writing makes it hard to say which genre he was using or what academic field he belonged to
he's had an appeal to people who disagree among each other
he's been seen as an advocate of both progressive political views and reactionary ones
both a critic of German idealism and a follower of it
focused on                     , lack of meaning, and the crisis of religious faith that are typical in modern life
1841 "On the Concept of           "
when we say that e.g. a law is merely relative, we intend to undermine it, i.e. it doesn't have absolute validity and therefore we can choose to follow it or not
Kierkegaard refers to subjectivity and relativism as irony
compares Socrates irony with modern irony
instability in the human                 , due to the complexity of humans themselves and the impossibility of fully escaping structures in order to study them
post-structuralism is a response to structuralism, an intellectual movement of the mid-20th century which argued that human culture may be understood by means of a structure modeled on language
Kierkegaard and Socrates
"my task is a Socratic task"
we have to understand how he understood Socrates and what he took Socrates to stand for
mostly found in the work "The Concept of Irony"
            : in thought, a seemingly insoluble impasse in an inquiry, often arising as a result of equally plausible yet inconsistent premises, the state of being perplexed, at a loss
maieutics n. the art of giving birth to ideas
Kierkegaard's life
born 1813, the year the              state went bankrupt
Kierkegaard's father was one of the few who was still relatively wealthy
Danish Golden Age (painting)
first half of          century in Denmark
arts took on a new period of creativity catalyzed by                        from Germany
mostly had to do with painting from 1800-1850:                     , Bendz, Hansen
Hans Christian Anderson
Copenhagen was small and                          at the time, and dominant figures of the age new each other and influenced each other
1838: published first book, criticized a novel by Hans Christian Anderson
raised in tradition of Lutheran Christianity
brother studied theology and became a bishop in the Danish Lutheran Church
youngest of            children
all died except he and his older brother Peter (bishop)
School of Civic Virtue
founded 1789
for sons of wealthy bourgeois families
attended 1821-1830
classic education in Latin, Greek and             
developed a love for Greek culture and literature
studied Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, some of                   ' Histories and some of the New Testament
read dialogues of Plato, specifically the Euthyphro, the Apology, and the Crito
read Xenophon's Memorabilia of Socrates
he discovered here Socrates, who fascinated him for the rest of his life
Kierkegaard didn't have many friends probably due to the fact that he had a tendency to tease and antagonize his fellow students with his superior intellect
often beat up for this
he came back to this school later in life to teach Latin
The Concept of Irony
three parts, two long, one short
1. The Position of Socrates Viewed as Irony
compares the picture of Socrates as presented by Plato, Xenophon (students of Socrates, and wrote dialogues with their teacher as the main speaker) and                          who parodied Socrates in a comedy called The Clouds
presents Socrates as someone who doesn't have any                  doctrine or theory, but rather merely contradicts what others say without presenting anything positive himself
Socrates is a negative, destructive force
talks of           's view of Socrates was very influential at the time
2. The Concept of Irony
talks of the modern form of irony of the German Romantics
while Socrates' irony is given a positive treatment, the Romantics were criticized as using irony in the service of relativism or nihilism, whose goal he thought was to undermine                    society without giving a truth of meaning to replace it
3. Irony as a Controlled Element, the Truth of Irony
Kierkegaard's presentation of his own view of the proper and appropriate use of irony
impossible to use irony as Socrates did
but Romantics go to far by undermining society
Kierkegaard suggests a                form of irony as the most appropriate for his own day
Introduction to Kierkegaard
Kierkegaard's Admiration of Socratic Irony