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Soren

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By SSgtMason
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Soren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher. Some say his ideas were ahead of his time, and that explains his low popularity in the world at the time. His works were very illustrative and sarcastic, which sometimes makes them hard to understand even nowadays, and raises a question of whether or not he is talking seriously, or makes fun of certain things. However, the common unclearness of the meanings of his work does not affect the fact that he is one of the very well-known and popular philosophers.

According to Rosenstand, (and other sources) Kierkegaard’s work and life in general were very much influenced by his father, who was a very religious man and believed that God was punishing him by taking away his children’s lives. That idea was applied to little Soren as well. And apparently, was accepted by young Kierkegaard to such point, that after his father’s death he believed that God’s wrath had transferred to him.

Despite all of these issues with fate and religious fear of judgment, Kierkegaard’s father was a good father after all. He is the one responsible for the deep imaginational ability of Soren. With his father they would regularly take walks to the beach, down the Main Street, into the woods – all in their living room. (Rosenstand, 2013) His father would describe everything they saw in details and ask Soren to participate. Even though it was exhausting for the little child, those types of intellectual and imagination exercises are one of the best things a parent can discipline in a child. (Rosenstand, 2013)

The relationship with religion Soren had gotten from his father as well. As stated earlier, the fear of punishment passed onto the next generation of Kierkegaard’s family after the father’s death. That was, however, not the only thing Soren got from his father. He had earned a degree in theology, in which was personally never interested in, but his father did (for himself). This and other traits were influenced by, what is now described by Freud as a Superego, internalization of his father’s voice. (Rosenstand, 2013)That internalization is quite obvious throughout Kierkegaard’s work, and especially in his theory about what truth is.

For Kierkegaard truth is subjective, and religious. There are three stages through which an individual needs to go in order to reach their personal truth. All the humans, according to Kierkegaard, are born to the aesthetic stage: The stage of sensuous enjoyment. (Rosenstand, 2013) Simply, search for joy of the senses, which is completely common for children, but is unhealthy for the adults (Don Juan effect). Not everyone, necessarily, leaves this stage, according to Rosenstand. The next stage is the ethical stage: “People realize that there is that there are laws and conventions, and they believe that the way to become a good person is to follow these conventions”, e.g. Judge William and Socrates (Rosenstand, 2013). Lastly, the leap of faith and into the religious stage: following the rules and becoming a man everyone thinks you are ought to be is not enough. In order to become an authentic person, one must leave all the “standards of society . . . and choose to trust in God”. (Rosenstand, 2013)

The image and the idea of God are present throughout all of the Kierkegaard’s works. It is now clear that his views on that matter have been influenced greatly by his father (indirectly and impersonally). The way Kierkegaard explains his thoughts in his work is very artistic, and sarcastic. Both of these characteristics of one’s writing cannot be achieved with low level of imagination, and Soren’s father seems to have done a good job nurturing it in his son. All in all, it is fare to say that Kierkegaard’s point of view and understanding of life has been greatly influenced by his father.

References

Rosenstand, N. (2013). The moral of the story. (7th ed., p. 490). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.…...

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