The Ethical Task as the Human Task

C. Stephen Evans

in Kierkegaard's Ethic of Love

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199272174
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602061 | DOI:
The Ethical Task as the Human Task

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Unlike Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard affixes his name to Concluding Unscientific Postscript, as the ‘editor’, thereby signalling his close affinity to the position outlined by the book’s pseudonym Johannes Climacus. Kierkegaard himself, in The Point of View for My Work as an Author, tells us that he placed his name on the title page as a signal of the similarity of Climacus’s views to his own. Indeed, Climacus provides a formal structure that can be used to illuminate what Kierkegaard says in his own voice in Works of Love and elsewhere. From Climacus in Concluding Unscientific Postscript – and from Kierkegaard himself in Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing – we have a conception of the ethical life as a life that involves a relationship with God. This knowledge of God, however, is not rooted in God’s revelation in history but is, instead, rooted in the individual’s own conscience.

Keywords: concluding unscientific postscript; conscience; Kierkegaard; purity of heart is to will one thing; upbuilding discourses in various spirits

Chapter.  10735 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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