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Søren KierkegaardSubjectivity, Irony, & the Crisis of Modernity$
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Jon Stewart

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747703

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747703.001.0001

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Kierkegaard and Romantic Subjectivism

Kierkegaard and Romantic Subjectivism

(p.87) 5 Kierkegaard and Romantic Subjectivism
Søren Kierkegaard

Jon Stewart

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the analysis of the second part of The Concept of Irony. Here Kierkegaard introduces the irony of the German Romantics as a contrastive form of irony to that of Socrates. The chapter begins with Kierkegaard’s account of Fichte’s theory of subjectivity, which, he claims (following Hegel), is the forerunner of Romantic irony. This then leads to Kierkegaard’s account of the appropriation of Fichte’s theory by the Romantics Friedrich von Schlegel and Ludwig Tieck. This chapter also introduces one of Kierkegaard’s great mentors, Poul Martin Møller, who was likewise interested in an analysis of Romantic irony as a form of modern nihilism. We see how Kierkegaard is critical of Romantic irony as “historically unjustified,” while he continues his praise of Socratic irony. Finally, the chapter continues the biographical narrative of Kierkegaard’s life with an account of his broken engagement with Regine Olsen.

Keywords:   Kierkegaard, Socrates, The Concept of Irony, German Romanticism, Fichte, Romantic irony, Friedrich von Schlegel, Ludwig Tieck, Regine Olsen

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