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Kierkegaard as Negative Theologian$
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David R. Law

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263364

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263364.001.0001

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The Stages of Existence

The Stages of Existence

Chapter:
(p.124) 5 The Stages of Existence
Source:
Kierkegaard as Negative Theologian
Author(s):

DAVID R. LAW

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263364.003.0005

This chapter examines the three stages in Søren Kierkegaard's spheres of existence. These are the aesthetic, ethical, and religiousness stages. The aesthetic individual is concerned only with the physical, the finite, and the temporal, while the ethical individual is one who has chosen to discard his aesthetic or finite self. The religious individual is one who has realized that the ethical sphere is inadequate. This chapter suggests that this theory and his other theses reveal that there is an apophatic undercurrent running through Kierkegaard's thought.

Keywords:   Søren Kierkegaard, existence, aesthetic individual, ethical individual, religious individual, apophaticism

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