Kierkegaard and the Limits of Thought

Hegel Bulletin (1):82-105 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
This essay offers an account of Kierkegaard’s view of the limits of thought and of what makes this view distinctive. With primary reference to Philosophical Fragments, and its putative representation of Christianity as unthinkable, I situate Kierkegaard’s engagement with the problem of the limits of thought, especially with respect to the views of Kant and Hegel. I argue that Kierkegaard builds in this regard on Hegel’s critique of Kant but that, against Hegel, he develops a radical distinction between two types of thinking and inquiry: the ‘aesthetic-intellectual’ and the ‘ethico-religious’. I clarify this distinction and show how it guides Kierkegaard’s conception of a form of philosophical practice that involves drawing limits to the proper sphere of disinterested contemplation. With reference to two rival interpretations of Kierkegaard’s approach to the limits of thought—which I call ‘bullet-biting’ and ‘relativizing’—I further show how my ‘disambiguating’ account can better explain how, and why, his work courts a form of self-referential incoherence, in which it appears that certain limits of thought are at once affirmed and violated.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
Reprint years
2018
PhilPapers/Archive ID
WATKAT-10
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-11-17
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-11-17

Total views
226 ( #14,257 of 41,569 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
86 ( #5,729 of 41,569 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.