Kierkegaard's Either/Or

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mhoraine
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Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:22 am

Have you any philosophy books on your shelf that you have never read ? I have. Plenty.
Tonight I dusted down Kierkegaard's ' Either/Or '... So why now ?

Long story short - for Italian practice I turned to it.wikipedia ( having already covered Yahoo Italia's gossip section - Sarah Jessica Parker and ' la mano pelle e ossa ' ) and discovered an article on Mozart's Don Giovanni. Skimming to the Notes :

http://www3.dbu.edu/naugle/pdf/kierkega ... ovanni.pdf

What the....? hmm, a 40 plus page essay on ' Kierkegaard's Interpretation of Don Giovanni - An appraisal and theological response' by Dr David Naugle. Just up my street....yeah right !

However, another quick skim....and I'm hooked by the fact that Kierkegaard has a whole section devoted to Mozart and DG - entitled ' The Immediate Erotic Stages or The Musical Erotic'....

So, more temptation glows from inside the covers of ' Either/Or '.....should I give in, or.....

Impenitent
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Impenitent » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:53 pm

the Aesthete beats the Ethicist

it's rock and roll

-Imp

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:12 pm

Well, already I'm confused, and I haven't even read the Introduction.

Pray tell, whatever do you mean Impenitent ?

M.

Impenitent
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Impenitent » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:45 pm

it's a huge comparison of the type of life one could live

either - the aesthetic life - hedonistic
or - the ethical life - law and order

it's worth reading, both parts, but it will take you a while...

I'd suggest reading fear and trembling first

-Imp

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:31 pm

Thanks, Impenitent, for the broad sweep.

Of course, the first question which springs to mind is why one life ( aesthete ) or the other ( ethicist ), why not both ?
And why or how does the Aesthete beat the Ethicist ? I guess if I really, really want to know, I have to read on....

I am tempted to try a different method of reading - skip the Intro etc....and simply splosh into the Musical Erotic section. But that seems kinda sacriligious.

Why do you suggest reading 'Fear and Trembling' first ?

M.

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Aetixintro
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Aetixintro » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:23 am

Impenitent wrote:the Aesthete beats the Ethicist
it's rock and roll
-Imp
No! No! No! They are not necessarily in opposition and as you probably know, the development possibly from child to adult is, by Kierkegaard, always Aesthetics below Ethics below Religious that should make a fine, consistent line of thinking! Always... always... always...!

Happy reading! Happy thinking! :)

PS: I've read one or two smaller works of Kierkegaard, but I can't properly recall the name(s) or the core content! :oops:

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:49 am

Aetixintro, hello !

I smiled when I read your :
' PS: I've read one or two smaller works of Kierkegaard, but I can't properly recall the name(s) or the core content!'

that is absolutely disgraceful, :wink: and reminds me of my own failings to keep notes of even the titles of books I read....
I'm pretty lazy by nature, and have felt that 'as a sponge' once I absorb a book then it becomes part of me. But then sponges get too heavy and laden - summat gotta give !

Would this be Either memory... Or the Big Squeeze where you actually wring out your thoughts on paper and discuss what you have read....

In reading philosophy and attempting to grasp difficult notions, this book club could ideally serve this function and help understanding. So, who here has read Either/Or and can remember anything about it ? Is it worth another look with fresh eyes ?

Tug your memory and help Either untie any knots....Or firm up the chain of ideas ?

artisticsolution
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by artisticsolution » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:29 pm

Hi M, Imp, and Aetix,

I will have a go of the either or. I have been meaning to read it anyway as I absolutely loved fear and trembling and would even say it was the best book I have ever read in my life. It is so packed with honesty, humor, gut wrenching loneliness to the point that I think the only way he could deal with his thoughts is to categorize and meticulously analyze each one until all that could be said was said. Not only that he does it so poetically...as if it were the most magnificent painting that the world has ever known. The book is so amazing that you could read it over and over and find hidden little nuances that make you want to climb into his pocket and stay there for an eternity. He is so overwhelmingly blatant with providing you with the most intimate experience of his thoughts, that I question a God who could take such a life. God was probably jealous and didn't want Kierkegaard to expose any more of humanity than he already did or maybe God was embarrassed that someone that he had created could have surpassed him in knowledge of the human spirit and mind.

Anyway, I drifted off...sorry...have you started reading it yet? I am going to get the book today. I do hope that Imp and Aetix will help us along the way....or anyone else who wishes to join. Wouldn't it be fun if the whole forum would get involved? Who's in? :)

Impenitent
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Impenitent » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:41 pm

mhoraine wrote:Thanks, Impenitent, for the broad sweep.

Of course, the first question which springs to mind is why one life ( aesthete ) or the other ( ethicist ), why not both ?
And why or how does the Aesthete beat the Ethicist ? I guess if I really, really want to know, I have to read on....

I am tempted to try a different method of reading - skip the Intro etc....and simply splosh into the Musical Erotic section. But that seems kinda sacriligious.

Why do you suggest reading 'Fear and Trembling' first ?

M.
It will give you a perspective on what it takes to be a "knight of faith" and it will illustrate Soren's feelings toward such an entity. It gives a good (shorter and to the point) introduction to his ethical theories in general and it pique your curiosity about the rest of his writings (plus it is only about 150 pages where Either/Or is two books over 1000 pages total)

-Imp

Impenitent
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Impenitent » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:51 pm

Aetixintro wrote:
Impenitent wrote:the Aesthete beats the Ethicist
it's rock and roll
-Imp
No! No! No! They are not necessarily in opposition and as you probably know, the development possibly from child to adult is, by Kierkegaard, always Aesthetics below Ethics below Religious that should make a fine, consistent line of thinking! Always... always... always...!

Happy reading! Happy thinking! :)

PS: I've read one or two smaller works of Kierkegaard, but I can't properly recall the name(s) or the core content! :oops:
consistency...

momentary flashes of existence strung together by an apparently persisting self with no guarantee or rational reason to believe another moment shall come into existence...

(yes, I am a fan of Hume)

and as Pink Floyd paraphrased Nietzsche, Shine on you crazy diamond...

-Imp

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:13 am

artisticsolution wrote:Hi M, Imp, and Aetix,

I will have a go of the either or. I have been meaning to read it anyway as I absolutely loved fear and trembling and would even say it was the best book I have ever read in my life. It is so packed with honesty, humor, gut wrenching loneliness to the point that I think the only way he could deal with his thoughts is to categorize and meticulously analyze each one until all that could be said was said. Not only that he does it so poetically...as if it were the most magnificent painting that the world has ever known. The book is so amazing that you could read it over and over and find hidden little nuances that make you want to climb into his pocket and stay there for an eternity. He is so overwhelmingly blatant with providing you with the most intimate experience of his thoughts, that I question a God who could take such a life. God was probably jealous and didn't want Kierkegaard to expose any more of humanity than he already did or maybe God was embarrassed that someone that he had created could have surpassed him in knowledge of the human spirit and mind.

Anyway, I drifted off...sorry...have you started reading it yet? I am going to get the book today. I do hope that Imp and Aetix will help us along the way....or anyone else who wishes to join. Wouldn't it be fun if the whole forum would get involved? Who's in? :)
My God, AS.
Your words are incredible. Your desciption enticing. Your enthusiasm infectious.

I haven't started reading Either/Or yet. I have ordered Fear and Trembling from the library.
When I've time I intend to do my splosh into the bit which attracted me....and then go from there.

I'd love it if some would enter into the merry fray - can you imagine the sparks flying.

M.

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:21 am

Impenitent
You intrigue me with your :
' consistency...

momentary flashes of existence strung together by an apparently persisting self with no guarantee or rational reason to believe another moment shall come into existence...
(yes, I am a fan of Hume)
and as Pink Floyd paraphrased Nietzsche, Shine on you crazy diamond...


How does ' shine on you crazy diamond...' paraphrase Nietzsche....and will I go mad if I read Kierkegaard ?

and thanks for further enticement : re ' knight of faith' - and yes, a short intro, only about 150 pages cfd to Either/Or's 1000 pages sounds like a good idea ( the book is on order ). But I feel like a bit of a splosh... :D ( don't say it !! )


M.

Impenitent
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by Impenitent » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:03 pm

mhoraine wrote:Impenitent
You intrigue me with your :
' consistency...

momentary flashes of existence strung together by an apparently persisting self with no guarantee or rational reason to believe another moment shall come into existence...
(yes, I am a fan of Hume)
and as Pink Floyd paraphrased Nietzsche, Shine on you crazy diamond...


How does ' shine on you crazy diamond...' paraphrase Nietzsche....and will I go mad if I read Kierkegaard ?

and thanks for further enticement : re ' knight of faith' - and yes, a short intro, only about 150 pages cfd to Either/Or's 1000 pages sounds like a good idea ( the book is on order ). But I feel like a bit of a splosh... :D ( don't say it !! )


M.
From Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols:

The Hammer Speaks

'Why so hard?' The charcoal once said to the diamond; 'for are we not close relations?'
Why so soft, O my brothers, thus I ask you: for are you not - my brothers?
Why so soft, unresisting and yielding? Why is there so much denial and abnegation in your hearts, so little fate in your glances?
And if you will not be fates, if you will not be inexorable: how can you conquer with me?
And if your hardness with not flash and cut and cut to pieces: how can you one day - create with me?
For all creators are hard, and it must seem bliss to you to press your hand upon millenia as upon wax,
bliss to write upon millenia as upon metal - harder than metal, nobler than metal. Only the noblest is perfectly hard.
This new law-table do I put over you, my brothers: Become hard!


one who wishes to impose order on the universe, at the very least oneself, must be adamant...

and in the next moment...

born and ripped to shreds and born and ripped to shreds and born and ripped to shreds... Dionysian tension in the Nietzschean metaphysic... the hell of Sisyphus

as far as going mad with Kierkegaard, I wouldn't worry... madness is not a destination... (one step beyond)

-Imp

duszek
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by duszek » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:10 pm

This reminds me of a fable by La Fontaine:

An oak boasted before a blade of grass that he was big and strong.
A thunderstorm came, the oak was cracked in two and perished, and the blade of grass, which was flexible, survived and thrived.

Someone wrote a counter-fable arguing that it is better to be an oak and to die than to be a blade of grass and survive like a creepy thing without any backbone.

As to changing the world: does the oak change it more or a blade of grass ?

mhoraine
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Re: Kierkegaard's Either/Or

Post by mhoraine » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:11 pm

Thanks Impenitent and duszek for your replies - is this the either/or that kierkegaard talks of ?

Hardness v softness of character ? and the destination...one step beyond madness ? Into unknown territory...in the attempt to impose order on the universe....?? You've lost me.

I'm not seeing the connection, please explain if you will ? I can now see how a discussion of Either/Or may branch off into all kinds of realms. Could be infinitely distracting, fascinatingly fulfilling or horridly confusing. How best to proceed ?

M.

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