The Philosophy of Science in Either-Or

In Ryan Kemp & Walter Wietzke (eds.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Either-Or. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming)
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Kierkegaard's Either-Or is a book about the choice between aesthetic, ethical, and religious approaches to life. I show that Either-Or also contains a proposal for philosophy of science, and in particular, about the ideal epistemic state for human beings. Whereas the Cartesian-Hegelian tradition conceived of the ideal state as one of detached deliberation -- i.e. "seeing the world as it is in itself" -- Kierkegaard envisions the ideal state as the achievement of equilibrium between the "spectator" and "actor" aspects of the human being. Kierkegaard's proposal thus sets the stage for Niels Bohr's "epistemological lesson of quantum mechanics".

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Hans Halvorson
Princeton University


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