Making Cohen’s Style Explicit

Daniel H. Weiss

in Paradox and the Prophets

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895908
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949854 | DOI:
Making Cohen’s Style Explicit

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Judaism and Jewish Studies


Show Summary Details


While Søren Kierkegaard has not typically been linked with Hermann Cohen, this chapter argues that Kierkegaardian insights can be of significant help in compensating for a deficiency on Cohen’s part. While Cohen highlights the shortcomings of the method of Ethics and then performs his double-edged style, he does not provide a full self-conscious account of precisely what that style consists of and why he employs it. In contrast, Kierkegaard provides a more explicit and carefully formulated account of the problems of ethico-religious communication, especially in his Concluding Unscientific Postscript under the pseudonym of Johannes Climacus. Kierkegaard/Climacus emphasizes that ethico-religious concepts cannot be directly communicated, and indicates practical strategies and pitfalls of which a subjective thinker or author must be aware in his or her attempts at indirect communication. Since Cohen’s multiform style can be understood as a form of indirect communication, the application of Kierkegaard to Cohen’s text can help bring Cohen’s style to greater self-consciousness, enabling the reader to better see how and why his approach allows him to avoid a content-distorting one-sidedness. In addition, Kierkegaard’s theory of communication also aids in drawing links between Cohen’s style and the classical rabbinic approach to interpreting Scripture.

Keywords: Kierkegaard; indirect; communication; subjective; rabbinic; Scripture; style; author; reader; practical

Chapter.  13104 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.