Nature of Human Existence in Kierkegaard’s Ethical Philosophy: A Step towards Self-Valuation and Transformation in Our Contemporary World
International Journal of Philosophy
Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2014, Pages: 1-14
Received: Feb. 7, 2014; Accepted: Apr. 8, 2014; Published: Apr. 10, 2014
Views 3812      Downloads 536
Author
Valentine Ehichioya Obinyan, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Abstract
Man as an existent in the world, is an individual substance of a rational nature hence in his becomingness, his unique self-conscious actions are imperatives of what he becomes. Thus to take subjectivity from human nature and reduce it to abstract objectivity and systemization as Hegel did, is to relegate to a background the importance, uniqueness and individuality of the human person as a being in the world. Kierkegaard refutes Hegel’s objectivity with subjectivity and its analysis and relevance to understanding the nature of human existence for the singular purpose of self-valuation and transformation in our contemporary world, is the onus of this study. However, certain questions abound; what is subjectivity and human existence in Kierkegaard ethical philosophy? What life experiences influenced such understanding? To what extent does this enhance human understanding of existence? What implications does this propose in the scope of existentialism and ethics of human actions in our world today? With the critical analysis and hermeneutics method, the research examines Kierkegaard philosophy and concludes with the affirmation that to overcome the existential challenges of our contemporary world, man must constantly exclude himself from the crowd, engage in self-examination and value oriented commitment to purposeful living.
Keywords
Existence, Human, Objectivity, Stages, Subjectivity
To cite this article
Valentine Ehichioya Obinyan, Nature of Human Existence in Kierkegaard’s Ethical Philosophy: A Step towards Self-Valuation and Transformation in Our Contemporary World, International Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 2, No. 1, 2014, pp. 1-14. doi: 10.11648/j.ijp.20140201.11
References
[1]
Richard A. Watson, Cartesianism, the philosophical and scientific traditions derived from the writings of the French philosopher René Descartes (1596–1650). http://www.britannica.com/bps/user-profile/3129/richard-a-watson accessed 24/2/2014
[2]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kierkegaard/ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Søren Kierkegaar accessed 24/2/2014
[3]
Michael Watts,. Kierkegaard (Oneworld, 2003). pp, 4-6. Or Lowrie, Walter. Kierkegaard's attack upon "Christendom" (Princeton, 1968), pp. 37-40
[4]
Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, 1846, (Hong translation 1992 )p. 294
[5]
George. W.F. Hegel, Reason In History, The Library Of Liberal Arts, (N.Y.,1953), p. 82
[6]
Kierkegaard, Papers and Journals, Translated by Alastair Hannay, (1996) P. 63 & 161( also see Soren Kierkegaard , Journal, Aug. 1, 1835)
[7]
Lawhead W. F.. The Voyage of Discovery: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, 2nd ed.,Belmont:( Wadsworth Group, 2002). p. 400
[8]
Ibid., p. 401
[9]
John Macquarrie,. Existentialism, New York (1972), pp. 14–15 see also Cooper, D. E. Existentialism: A Reconstruction (Basil Blackwell, 1999), p. 8
[10]
Kierkegaard, La maladie a la mort, in Oeuvres Complètes, Editions de L'Orante, Paris, 1984, vol. 16, p. 175.
[11]
Maria G. Amilburu, El yo como síntesis segun Kierkegaard, University of Navarra, 1988,
[12]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/notes.html#3 accessed 24/2/2014
[13]
Ibid
[14]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/notes.html#3 accessed 24/2/2014
[15]
Kierkegaard. Concluding Unscientific Postscript Trans. F.S. Wenson and W.Lowrie. (Pricenton: Princeton University Press, 1994). p. 290
[16]
Immanuel Kant., Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. Tr. Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson. (New York: Harper& Row, 1960). p.70
[17]
Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, trans. David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1941). p. 182.
[18]
Kierkegaard, Postscriptum, vol. 11, p. 448.
[19]
A Latin expression that means “I think, therefore I am.” The point of departure for Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy
[20]
Kierkegaard,. Either/Or. vol. I, trans. Walter Lowrie,( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971). p. 281
[21]
Ibid., p. 287
[22]
Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Ibid, p.227
[23]
Kierkegaard, The Sickness unto Death. trans. Walter Lowrie, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968). p. 197
[24]
Ibid., p. 210
[25]
Ibid., p. 211
[26]
Ibid., p. 251
[27]
Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling. trans. Walter Lowrie, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968). p. 77
[28]
Kierkegaard, Councluding Unscientific Postscript., Op. cit., p. 370
[29]
Lawhead, W. F. Op. cit., p. 411
[30]
Ketharena Eiermann, Existentialism Basics; Subjectivity and Existentialism 2011 http://www.dividingline.com/html accessed 24/2/2014
[31]
Kierkegaard, Journals and Papers Vol 5, p. 5
[32]
Jean- Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, (Washington Square Press, 1966). p.577
[33]
Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, Tr. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. (New York: Harper and Row. 1962). p.67.
[34]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/notes.html#1 accessed 24/2/2014
[35]
Ibid
[36]
Joseph Omoregbe, A Simplified History of Philosophy; Contemporary philosophy, Vol .,3, (Lagos, Joja Education Publishers Limited, 1991). p.29
[37]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/notes.html#2 accessed 24/2/2014
[38]
Omoregbe, Knowing Philosophy ( Lagos, Joja Education Publishers Limited, 1990). p.93
[39]
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/notes.html#2 accessed 24/2/2014
[40]
Ibid
[41]
Jasper Karl, "Philosophical Autobiography" in Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.) The Philosophy of Karl Jaspers (The Library of Living Philosophers IX, Tudor Publishing Company, 1957). p. 75/11
[42]
Steven Crowell, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy- Jaspers (1968:60-61), http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existentialism/index.html#note-8 accessed 20/3/2014
[43]
Karl, Ibid, p. 75/2 and following
[44]
Louandre Charles (ed ), Pensées de Pascal, (Paris, 1854). p. 40
[45]
Alastair Marino, Gordon, Hannay,"The Kierkegaardian Leap" (1997). The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-47719-0
[46]
Albert Camus, Myth of Sisyphus, (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1995) p. 41
[47]
Camus A, Myth of Sisyphus, Ibid , p. 55
[48]
Kenneth Shouler, Pascal's Influence on Kierkegaard-understanding philosohy http://www.netplaces.com/philosophy/soren-kierkegaard-the-father-of-existentialism/pascals-influence-on-kierkegaard.htm accessed 9/3/2014
[49]
Peter Singer, Hegel’s Views. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983). p. 27
[50]
Ibid. p. 34
[51]
Johannes Climacus, Critics of Kierkegaard quoted in Kierkegaard, A Guide for the Perplexed. (New York: Crowmwell Press, 2006). p. 140
[52]
Emmanuel Levinas, Existence and Ethics, 1963 as cited in Lippitt John. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kierkegaard and Fear and Trembling. (London: Routledge, 2003). p. 136
[53]
Peter Stillman, G. Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit http://www.sunnypress.edu/showproduct.aspx?productid=2973&SEName=hegel-phenomenology-of-self-co.htm accessed 9/3/2014
[54]
Stephen Cope, Yoga and the Quest for the True Self. in Karen Wright, Dare to be yourself, published on May 01, 2008 - last reviewed on February 24, 2014 http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/authors/karen-wright accessed 9/3/2014
[55]
Ibid
[56]
Ibid
[57]
Ibid
[58]
Thomas Moore, A Life at Work as cited in Wright, Ibid
[59]
S. E Stumpf.. Socrates to Sartre Beyond: A History of Philosophy. 7th ed. (New York: Mcgraw Hill Press, 2003). p. 36
[60]
Karl Rahner as cited in Wright, Ibid
[61]
Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling, ed. and trans. Howard and Edna Hong, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983), 81
[62]
Martin Buber, The Way of Man, in Wright, Ibid
[63]
Amilburu, M. G. El yo como síntesis segun Kierkegaard, University of Navarra, 1988.
[64]
Camus, A. Myth of Sisyphus, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1995
[65]
Climacus, J. Critics of Kierkegaard quoted in Kierkegaard, A Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Crowmwell Press, 2006.
[66]
Hegel, G. W.F., Reason in History, The Library Of Liberal Arts, New York, 1953
[67]
Heidegger, M. Being and Time, Tr. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper and Row. 1962
[68]
Kant, I. Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone. Tr. Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson. New York: Harper& Row, 1960.
[69]
Karl. J. "Philosophical Autobiography" in Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.) The Philosophy of Karl Jaspers (The Library of Living Philosophers IX (Tudor Publishing Company, 1957,
[70]
Kierkegaard, S. Concluding Unscientific Postscript Trans. F.S. Wenson and W.Lowrie. Pricenton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
[71]
Either/Or. vol. I, trans. Walter Lowrie, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971.
[72]
Councluding Unscientific Postscript. trans. David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1941.
[73]
The Sickness unto Death. trans. Walter Lowrie, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.
[74]
Fear and Trembling. trans. Walter Lowrie, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.
[75]
Lawhead, W. F.. The Voyage of Discovery: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy, 2nd ed.,Belmont: Wadsworth Group, 2002.
[76]
Levinas, E., Existence and Ethics, 1963 as cited in Lippitt John. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kierkegaard and Fear and Trembling. London: Routledge, 2003.
[77]
Nietzche, F., Thus Spoke Zarathustra. In The Portable Nietzche. Tr. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vikings press, 1975
[78]
Omoregbe, J. A Simplified History of Philosophy; Contemporary philosophy, Vol .,3, Lagos, Joja Education Publishers Limited, 1991.
[79]
Sartre, J P. Being and Nothingness, Washington Square Press, 1966.
[80]
Singer, P. Hegel’s Views. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
[81]
Stumpf, S. E. Socrates to Sartre Beyond: A History of Philosophy. 7th ed. New York: Mcgraw Hill Press, 2003.
[82]
Watts, M. Kierkegaard , One world, 2003
[83]
Walter, L. Kierkegaard's attack upon "Christendom" Princeton, 1968
ADDRESS
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
U.S.A.
Tel: (001)347-983-5186