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Title: Coming into existence : the theme of movement in Kierkegaard's writing
Author: Carlisle, C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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Abstract:
My thesis examines the theme of movement in Kierkegaard's writing, focusing on his three 1843 pseudonymous works (Either/Or, Fear and Trembling and Repetition). As a background to my interpretations of these texts, I begin by tracing the history of movement as a philosophical question, from the ancient Greek debates about the possibility of motion to Hegel's presentation of the dialectical method and the principle of mediation. I am to show how Kierkegaard's preoccupation with movement was, to some extent, responding to the philosophies of Aristotle and Hegel. In engaging with these thinkers, Kierkegaard was contributing to a debate on the principles of contradiction and mediation amongst Danish intellectuals (in particular theologians such as Mynster and Martensen) during the 1830s and early 1840s; and my research includes analysis of some of the primary texts of this debate. Having explored the philosophical and theological significance of movement in this way, I present readings of each of the three 1843 texts. My chapter on Either/Or argues that the theme of movement functions to distinguish between the aesthetic and ethical forms of existence: the aesthetic expresses himself using metaphors of stasis, whilst becoming ethical requires some kind of existential movement. Kierkegaard's phrase 'either/or' refers to the principle of contradiction which grounds movement, and which, he suggests, Hegelian philosophy misguidedly attempts to overcome. In my chapter on Repetition I argue that the movement of repetition signifies a kind of existential truth that is opposed to the methods of knowledge advocated by both Platonic and Hegelian philosophy (recollection and mediation). In this text, movement is essential to its dramatic structure; its literary motifs; and its communicative techniques, and I aim to show how the philosophical significance of movement illuminates the coherence of these different aspects of the text. My chapter on Fear and Trembling again looks at movement as a literary theme - for example, the symbolism of Abraham's journey, and the metaphor of the leap - and develops Kierkegaard's account of repetition to explore how this applies to religious faith.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.597290  DOI: Not available
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