Existence, Thought, Style: Perspectives of a Primary Relation: Portrayed through the Work of Søren Kierkegaard

Existence, Thought, Style: Perspectives of a Primary Relation: Portrayed through the Work of Søren Kierkegaard

Existence, Thought, Style: Perspectives of a Primary Relation: Portrayed through the Work of Søren Kierkegaard

Existence, Thought, Style: Perspectives of a Primary Relation: Portrayed through the Work of Søren Kierkegaard

Synopsis

This work considers how relevant the mode of existence of a philosopher is to his philosophizing. On the basis of this insight, the work derives an understanding of style that has in view this very correspondence of thought and mode of existence.

Excerpt

The relation between a thinker's personal existence and the particular nature of the philosophy he espouses, in form and content, has not been a major consideration in understanding and evaluating the abundance of philosophical assertion. in its most prevalent practice, philosophical discussion may be said to revolve around three main theories of knowledge. the first of these is known as the "correspondence theory," according to which the truth of a statement is to be determined by its correspondence to "what is." As the actual criteria for such a representation came to be called into question, another theory arose which sought to settle the dispute by positing the "coherence" of a proposition, the degree to which each of its parts fit one another and the whole, as the only viable criterion. According to still another theory, which has its origin in the several strains of pragmatism since the mid-nineteenth century, a proposition is true only if it lends itself to practical application in reality. Each of these theories has been variously interpreted and argued; today the problem has been increasingly subsumed under the rubric "theory of knowledge," where the discussion is continued with the methods of mathematical logic and linguistic analysis.

Were one to ask what it is that each of these theories, despite their formidable differences, have in common, one's attention is drawn to a noteworthy fact: in each theory the perspective is limited to what is being asserted.

The question to which the present inquiry will concern itself diverges from this discussion in that it arises from an area of consideration anterior to the "what" of a proposition. Its concern is not first and foremost that of the relation of a proposition to a given state of affairs, or of the internal links in a closed court of a conceptual formulation. Rather, an attempt will be made to return to another, two- fold relation which has scarcely entered the discussion, but which may be seen to underlie it in its entirety: that between the thinker himself and that which is said, and the reflection of both in how he . . .

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