By Kierkegaard, Søren; Kangas, David J.; Kierkegaard, Søren

In Kierkegaard’s quick, David J. Kangas reads Kierkegaard to bare his radical brooding about temporality. For Kierkegaard, the moment of turning into, during which every little thing adjustments within the blink of an eye fixed, eludes recollection and anticipation. It constitutes a starting continuously already at paintings. As Kangas exhibits, Kierkegaard’s retrieval of the surprising caliber of temporality permits him to level a deep critique of the idealist tasks of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. by means of linking Kierkegaard’s notion to the culture of Meister Eckhart, Kangas formulates the important challenge of those early texts and places them into modern light―can considering carry itself open to the demanding situations of temporality?

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Socrates gets taken into this movement entirely, swept away by it, into the “infinite Oceanus” of the negative. According to the sixth Latin thesis, “Socrates not only used irony but was so dedicated to it that he himself succumbed to it” (CI 6; SKS 1:65). He succumbs: he does not, in the end, master his own irony; it masters him. An essential defect of Hegel’s reading of Socrates, for Kierkegaard, is precisely to have missed how the Socratic standpoint is impossible to maintain. Irony is nothing other than a passage to the limit.

He regards Hegel the way Hegel regarded himself: namely, as the consummating moment of a teleological development in thought. Specifically, Kierkegaard links Plato and Hegel under the idea that both think phenomena require an ideal ground; or rather, that what is real of reality is an eidetic structure. Plato and Hegel are both “metaphysical” thinkers—or in Kierkegaard’s language “speculative” thinkers—in that thinking becomes the elaboration of what ideally explains phenomena. But what of phenomena that don’t seem resolvable in terms of some eidos?

In order for the absolute to manifest itself, to become conscious of itself, it must negate itself infinitely and absolutely: it must stand beyond or outside itself. In Hegel, however, infinite absolute negativity always refers, dialectically, to the self-differing of the absolute. Difference is something posited. Kierkegaard, though, borrowed the term “infinite absolute negativity” from Hegel. In fact he lifts the term, not from Hegel’s reading of Socrates in Lectures on the History of Philosophy, but from his Aesthetics.

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