Saturday, August 1, 2015

On Kierkegaardian Absurdity and Insanity

On Kierkegaardian Absurdity and Insanity: On October 16, 1843, Kierkegaard published three separate works. One of the books published was Repetition and another was Fear and Trembling, which is perhaps Kierkegaard's most well-known work. In many respects, neither book has much in common, except when referencing ideas like absurdity and insanity. If when Abraham took Isaac up Mount Moriah to be sacrificed (at God's command) can be considered a definition of absurdity, then Fear and Trembling was spot-on with its discourse. And if repeating the same process/steps (as the Young Man did) while expecting different results is a definition of insanity, then Repetition has certainly made an indelible philosophical mark. For Kierkegaard, who tried to determine whether repetition actually existed in the world, the process of repeating something served as a vehicle to "eternalize" what would otherwise be temporal. He also connected this idea to another concept which he referred to as the "Knight of Faith." Because Kierkegaard's conception of Faith is partially rooted in both absurdity and insanity, it only seems fitting that Abraham and the Young Man act as Knights of Faith in their respective books. In short, the Knight of Fight is a paradoxical individual who "gracefully embraces life" on one hand, and places infinite trust in the possibility of divine salvation on the other.

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