Cover image for Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society  By Merold Westphal

Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society

Merold Westphal

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$35.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-03020-3

142 pages
6" × 9"
1992

Kierkegaard's Critique of Reason and Society

Merold Westphal

“Westphal shows us that Kierkegaard’s philosophy makes an important contribution to what we now call the ‘critique of ideology,’ embracing both political and sociological concerns, and squarely based upon as affirmation of human reason—a reason that is fully aware of its own nature, neither shirking its responsibilities nor overstepping its capacities. For those who would like to get beyond the myth of Kierkegaard as an apostle of the ’solitary self,’ Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society is just the book to read.”

 

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“Westphal shows us that Kierkegaard’s philosophy makes an important contribution to what we now call the ‘critique of ideology,’ embracing both political and sociological concerns, and squarely based upon as affirmation of human reason—a reason that is fully aware of its own nature, neither shirking its responsibilities nor overstepping its capacities. For those who would like to get beyond the myth of Kierkegaard as an apostle of the ’solitary self,’ Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society is just the book to read.”
“I recommend the book highly, both to Kierkegaard specialists and to others interested in rationality, human nature, and society.”
“Merold Westphal is a knowing interpreter who has penetrated Kierkegaard’s mind and is faithful to Kierkegaard’s own interest. . . . In a helpful and stimulating way, he also brings to his interpretation of Kierkegaard an intimate knowledge of three other thinkers whose lives overlapped with Kierkegaard’s: Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche.”
Kierkegaard’s Critique of Reason and Society is a pivotal event in the history of Kierkegaardian interpretation. . . . Westphal’s reading of Kierkegaard contains a polemic against two prevalent misreadings. Kierkegaard is often seen as an irrationalist, and he is often seen as an individualist. Westphal argues powerfully that both labels, as usually understood, are completely misleading.”

Merold Westphal is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University and author of History and Truth in Hegel's "Phenomenology" (1979) and God, Guilt, and Death: An Existential Phenomenology of Religion (1987).

Contents

Preface vii

Abbreviations xi

1. Prolegomena to Any Future Philosophy of Religion

That Will Be Able to Come Forth as Prophecy 1

2. Kierkegaard as a Prophetic Philosopher 19

3. Kierkegaard's Politics 29

4. Kierkegaard's Sociology 43

5. Abraham and Hegel 61

6. Kierkegaard and the Logic of Insanity 85

7. Inwardness and Ideology Critique in Kierkegaard's Fragments and Postscript 105

Index 127

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