Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kierkegaard 200

Two centuries ago today, Søren Kierkegaard was born.

Writes Jon Bartley Stewart in his 2009 book Kierkegaard and His Danish Contemporaries:
[Frederik Christian] Sibbern was the Danish defender of absolute monarchy, an advocate of the advisory Assembly of the Realm and critically disposed toward the age's ideas about democracy and constitutional monarchy. On these points Kierkegaard was generally in agreement with him.
Writes (the late) D. Anthony Storm on Kierkegaard's The Single Individual:
Perhaps there is no other work where Kierkegaard so clearly and emphatically spells out the value of the individual versus the masses. [quoting Kierkegaard:]
There is a view of life which conceives that where the crowd is, there is also the truth, and that in truth itself there is need of having the crowd on its side. There is another view of life which conceives that wherever there is a crowd there is untruth, so that (to consider for a moment the extreme case), even if every individual, each for himself in private, were to be in possession of the truth, yet in case they were all to get together in a crowd—a crowd to which any decisive significance is attributed, a voting, noisy, audible crowd—untruth would at once be in evidence (p. 110).

Previously: Søren Kierkegaard

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