Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt

SUNY Press
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Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1992
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Pages
301
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ISBN
9781438404738
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Language
English
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Building on his earlier work, Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt, Ronald Green presents Kant as a major inspiration of Kierkegaard¿s authorship. Green believes that Kant¿s ethics provided the rigor on which Kierkegaard drew in developing his concept of sin. Green argues that the chief difference between Kant and Kierkegaard has to do with whether we need a historical savior to restore our broken moral wills. Kant rejected faith in vicarious atonement as undermining moral responsibility, and he pointed to the Genesis 22 episode of Abraham¿s sacrifice of Isaac as an example of how reliance on historical reports can undermine ethics. Kierkegaard rejected Kant¿s rationalist solution to the problem of radical human evil. Kant had demolished the ontological proof by showing that whether something exists (including God) can never be logically deduced. Kierkegaard turns this great insight against Kant: whether God has forgiven our transgressions cannot be deduced from our moral need. Either God did or did not intervene on our behalf. ¿This fact.¿ says Kierkegaard, ¿is the earnestness of existence.¿ Green offers unique readings of Fear and Trembling and Either/Or in his analysis and interpretation of Kierkegaard¿s reading and response to Kant and their understanding of divine and ethics. A closing chapter focuses on love in time. In Works of Love, Kierkegaard places emotional feelings within a transcendent context. Erotic love is noble, but it must be purged of self-love and seek the fulfillment of the beloved as an independent being. Only by assuming ethical and religious meaning can romantic love fulfill its promise of eternity.
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