Academic journal article Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations

Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript: A Critical Guide

Academic journal article Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations

Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript: A Critical Guide

Article excerpt

Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript: A Critical Guide Rick Anthony Furtak (Colorado College) (ed.) New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 258 pp. ISBN 978-0-521-89798-3

According to Climacus (Kierkegaard's pseudonym), original immanence is the ubiquity of the eternal (Ferreira), people suffer from a forgetfulness concerning ethical and religious existence and inwardness (this condition of forgetfulness is tied to their knowing too much) (Muench), inwardness is both a selfs relation to itself and its outward relation to others (Mooney), and practical reasoning is distinguished by its focus on the aims and goals that orient a person (Furtak). Climacus portrays humor as a special kind of vantage-point: the humorous attitude to Christianity is a reversion to thinking of the truth as behind us, whereas a Christian proper has no communicative reason to convey the absurdity of Christianity. (Hannay) Climacus defines the truth of subjectivity in terms of passion. To become a Christian is to embrace the historical event of God's incarnation as man. (Howland) Climacus' understanding of the finitude of human understanding is qualitative, reality is essentially historical, speculative thought is ludicrously comical, and both becoming subjective and becoming a Christian are lifelong tasks. (Westphal) Climacus' view of the comic is rooted in "contradiction" or incongruity, humor is "lower" than the fully religious individual, the comic and pathos need to be in balance, and the true comic includes a delicate balance of "jest" and "earnestness." (Lippitt)

Climacus' discussion of the task of becoming a Christian focuses on the existential form of Christian belief. The subjective truth which constitutes the truth of Christianity is essentially dynamic. The individual is not able to accomplish the task of becoming a Christian by her own efforts. Climacus emphasizes the uncertainty and insecurity of Christian faith, regarding uncertainty as a necessary condition of faith. …

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