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The sickness unto death av Søren…
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The sickness unto death (urspr publ 1849; utgåvan 1944)

av Søren Kierkegaard (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,778106,944 (3.96)21
A companion piece to The Concept of Anxiety, this work continues Søren Kierkegaard's radical and comprehensive analysis of human nature in a spectrum of possibilities of existence. Present here is a remarkable combination of the insight of the poet and the contemplation of the philosopher. In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where--in contact with the eternal--anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis--the infinite and the finite--do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.… (mer)
Medlem:IrisMurdoch
Titel:The sickness unto death
Författare:Søren Kierkegaard (Författare)
Info:London : Oxford University Press, 1944.
Samlingar:Kingston University, Library at Oxford
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verkdetaljer

Sjukdomen till döds : en kristlig psykologisk utveckling till uppbyggelse och uppväckelse av Søren Kierkegaard (Author) (1849)

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A short book that feels like a marathon, Søren Kierkegaard's The Sickness Unto Death looks and is daunting. It is a dense philosophical treatise that goes deep into notions of despair, the self and existence – hardly crowd-pleasers – and also topics that are deeply unfashionable nowadays like faith and the state of Christianity. It is a book that can inflict on us passages like the following, which is by no means the only example:

"If the relation which relates to itself has been established by something else, then of course the relation is the third term, but then this relation, the third term, is a relation which relates in turn to that which has established the whole relation." (pg. 10)

And yet, alongside all this academic wordiness and dry dialectic, Kierkegaard can also deliver lines such as "with despair a fire takes hold in something that cannot burn" (pg. 18). The best example of the headache-inducing yet ultimately nourishing nature of the book, and perhaps of philosophy in general, is when Kierkegaard delivers the maddening line "To understand and to understand; are these then two different things? Certainly" (pg. 111), only to follow this up with a clear and interesting discussion of what he means by this, namely that there is a "distinction between not being able to understand and being unwilling to understand" (pg. 117).

Of course, no one is coming to philosophy, particularly philosophy of the calibre of Kierkegaard, with a view to finding their next beach read. Even so, the dense and gloomy nature of the book can be fatiguing, even though Kierkegaard can turn a phrase occasionally, and is bracingly critical of Christendom the church as opposed to Christianity the creed. Even when the book is uplifting it is hard-earned; you have to follow it closely in order to appreciate the positive, uplifting aspect of what he is writing about. Despair, Kierkegaard argues, is not discouraging but uplifting, "since it views every man with regard to the highest demand that can be made of him: to be spirit." (pp21-22)

For all the toughness of the meat, and the difficulty in hunting down the kill, there is plenty that is nourishing and satisfying for a reader in Kierkegaard. My feelings with regard to The Sickness Unto Death – and largely why I'm open to reading philosophy in general – is encapsulated in something speculative Kierkegaard writes on page 149: "To be a particular human being is [perhaps] to be nothing; just think – and then you are the whole of humanity." ( )
  Mike_F | Apr 1, 2020 |
Librería 6. Estante 4
  atman2019 | Dec 18, 2019 |
This can be called a Phenomenology of Despair. Kierkegaard is frequently considered as anti-Hegel but this book can be considered as a kind of dialectic of the self. Kierkegaard looked at the self the same way as Hegel looked at the world, his universal spirit.

Here we see his iterative definition of the self,

The self is a relation which relates itself to its own self, or it is that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self; the self is not the relation but that the relation relates itself to its own self. It must in turn relate to the power which established the whole relation. The self is a dynamic process. It is simultaneously becoming and and unbecoming from what one is.

and the self as a synthesis,

A human being is a synthesis of the infinite and the finite, of the temporal and the eternal, of freedom and necessity, in short, a synthesis.

Despair results from lack of balance between these opposites and takes three forms,

Being unconscious in despair of having a self. This is the most common form of despair. Despair of an aesthete. Where someone is lost in something external that they are not aware of their eternal self or that they are in despair. A spiritless existence. From Kierkegaard's point of view, almost everyone is in despair, and most of them are not aware of it.
not wanting in despair to be oneself happens if one has finitude and necessity but without infinitude and possibility, i.e. no faith. For God is infinite, for God everything is possible. The opposite is where you have infinitude and possibility without being grounded in temporal and necessity, Where one is carried away by dreams and fantasies without being grounded in something temporal leading to despair and wanting in despair to be oneself.

One can contrast this with materialism, where alienation and despair are caused by material circumstances and they can be rid of by changing the society. Even though they never encountered each other’s works, Marx and Kierkegaard were contemporaries and both of their thoughts germinated in the rapidly industrialising society. But for Marx, a materialist, this alienation ultimately took the form of a worker being alienated from his labour and it can only be overcome by changing the society, and for Kierkegaard, the individual self is all that matters despair can only be overcome by the self through faith.

Among the western thinkers, existentialists have a lot in common with buddhist and hindu thinkers. The similar emphasis on the self, the importance of self-realisation and in this book there is also some similarity in the understanding of despair. Despair as a sickness of the spirit and the opposite of being in despair is to have faith. Standing openly in front of God.

Here we also see the Christian notion of despair as a blessing. Something which we see in Dostoevsky’s works as well. Despair transcends banal experience and it leads to salvation. So despair is also a blessing. To arrive at deliverance one must pass through despair.

The second part got too Christian and esoteric for me. It mainly deals with sin. This work is rooted in christianity but still has universal applicability. If you want to understand how your relation is relating itself to itself, you must read this book. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
In which I am again reminded of a friend's experience with a professor in a class on Kierkegaard: the students spent the first five weeks trying to convince the professor that you can probably only understand a quarter of Kierkegaard unless you read him in the context of Hegel; the professor rejects this and stresses instead Kierkegaard's Socraticism; at the end of the fifth week (i.e., less than halfway through the course) the professor admits defeat. If that doesn't sound remarkable, you haven't taken many courses with philosophy professors, whom you cannot convince of anything unless they already secretly believe it. The moral of the story is: most of Kierkegaard's writing is incomprehensible unless you've read Hegel.

That doesn't mean, as the cliche has it, that he's writing *against* Hegel. This book is a kind of depressing mini-phenomenology of spirit, in which, instead of ascending towards absolute knowledge, human kind simultaneously ascends towards (what Kierkegaard takes to be) absolute knowledge (i.e., God), and descends further into despair for any number of reasons and in any number of ways. For Hegel, there's always one destination--you might stop on the way to the truth, but your journey is always in that direction. For Kierkegaard, as for Marx, there are two destinations--the good (God/communism) and the horrific (despair/barbarism)--which are both in the same direction. For Marx, 'science' (in the Hegelian sense) will get you to communism, while ideology/capitalism etc will get you to barbarism. For Kierkegaard, science will lead you closer to God, by deepening your despair, but it *won't* get you to the good. Kierkegaard has very good criticisms to make of Hegel, but not the way that, say, Russell has criticisms of him. Kierkegaard, like Marx, remains on Hegel's side of the fence.

Anyway, SuD is a critique of the various idiocies human kind will perform in order to stay in despair. Unlike 20th century existentialists, to whom he's often compared, Kierkegaard insists that the way we are (both 'eternal' and mortal) does not, in itself, lead to despair--despair is the result of an "imbalance" in ourselves, a stressing of one or the other of these elements at the expense of the other. The human condition is not *intrinsically* one of despair; despair is something we do to ourselves. SuD goes through the many different ways in which we can be unbalanced: pretending we're other than we are, despairing of the way we are, and so on. The 'cure' is to recognize and live with our synthesis, not wish to be entirely eternal (a fantasy) nor believe ourselves to be entirely mortal (which, as a kind of determinism, cuts us off from the possibilities of human existence).

The quasi-Hegelian 'portraits' of various people in despair still read like a rogue's gallery of contemporary intellectuals:

"Have hope in the possibility of help, especially on the strength of the absurd, that for God everything is possible? No, that he will not. And ask help of any other? No, that for all the world he will not do; if it came to that, he would rather be himself with all the torments of hell than ask for help." (102)

Here are your militant atheists, 'scientific' determinists*, literary existentialists, and solipsistic nihilists of all stripes, wallowing in self-satisfaction, "he prefers to rage against everything and be the one whom the whole world, all existence, has wronged, the one for whom it is especially important to ensure that he has his agony on hand, so that no one will take it from him--for then he would not be able to convince others and himself that he is right." (103).

The second part, on despair as sin, is a much easier read, and not quite as interesting, although it does include the wonderful thought that "a self is what it has as its standard of measurement," (147). Kierkegaard's attack on 'Christendom' comes up here, and is as right as ever, but you'd have to be pretty convinced of the perfection of institutional Christianity to find it all that affecting, and I, dear reader, am not.

In short, there's a great lesson in here for 21st century types who like to harp on about humanity's existential loneliness and how evolution means we're destined to rape and pillage because there's no meaning anymore: if you think only a God can give us meaning, then leap into faith, or come to the somewhat easier realization that actually, we can give ourselves meaning. It's childish to think otherwise.


*I've always found it odd that so many people who, quite rightly, hold firm to empiricism, take so seriously the idea of determinism (a reasonable assumption for experimental science, but not therefore a fact) despite the absence of evidence for it. Granted, there can be no evidence for it (despite those idiotic 'experiments' in which people's brains 'decide' something 'before' the people do). But determinism and God have that in common. That won't change anyone's mind on God or determinism, of course, because, as Kierkegaard puts it in a different context, "the despairer thinks that he himself is this evidence" (105). ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
"Morir eternamente, morir sin poder morir sin embargo, morir la muerte; pues morir quiere decir que todo ha terminado, pero morir la muerte significa vivir la propia muerte; y vivirla un solo instante, es vivirla eternamente". ( )
  darioha | Sep 1, 2013 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (39 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Kierkegaard, SørenFörfattareprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Eichler, UtaEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ferlov, KnudÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hannay, AlastairÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hong, Edna H.Redaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Hong, Howard V.Redaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Mežaraupe, IngaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Perlet, GiselaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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A companion piece to The Concept of Anxiety, this work continues Søren Kierkegaard's radical and comprehensive analysis of human nature in a spectrum of possibilities of existence. Present here is a remarkable combination of the insight of the poet and the contemplation of the philosopher. In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where--in contact with the eternal--anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis--the infinite and the finite--do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.

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Penguin Australia

2 utgåvor av den här boken publicerades av Penguin Australia.

Utgåvor: 0140445331, 0141036656

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