Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kierkegaard’s aesthetic fits quite closely with Hegel’s arguments against the Romantics

An und für sich “This is more a comment than a question…” August 24th, 2007
Kierkegaard and Hegel by Adam Can the Kierkegaardian triad of
Aesthetic, Ethical, and Religious
be mapped out onto the triad of
Skepticism, Stoicism, and Christianity
in the “Unhappy Consciousness” section of Phenomenology of Spirit?
Posted by Adam Filed in Kierkegaard, Hegel
One Response to “Kierkegaard and Hegel” cynic librarian Says: August 25th, 2007 at 12:04 am Ada, See Alastair Hannay’s definitive work on Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard (The Arguments of the Philosophers). Routledge; New Ed edition (December 1991) ISBN-10: 0415063655ISBN-13: 978-0415063654
Hannay does “map” Kierkegaard’s work onto the unhappy consciousness. He doesn’t associate the Three Stages with Hegel’s, though. Skepticism would not be an instance of the Aesthetic per se and there are elements of Stoicism that would fit K’s Religiousness A (which forms part of the Religious stage).
For Kierkegaard, skepticism is much more honest than Hegel gave it credit for, and he sees the skeptical as a first manifestation of existential choice. That is, the Greek skeptics realized that doubt was not a suspension of will but an assertion of will. This goes against Descartes’, Hegel’s and the Romantic’s understanding of doubt. There are several books on the closeness of K’s irony and Greek and Humean skepsis.
In terms of the aesthetic, K’s understanding fits quite closely with Hegel’s arguments against the Romantics. It forms the major part of his Doctoral thesis on Irony, though K’s later irony walks a thin tightrope on that issue since he wants to salvage as much of the aesthetic as he can for the later stages. That is, there are elements of the aesthetic that are taken up in the ethical, as well as the religious stages.

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