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Patrick Gardiner shows how Kierkegaard developed his views in emphatic opposition to prevailing opinions. Kierkegaard describes the enigmatic Dane's reaction to the ethical and religious theories of Kant and Hegel, and it also contrasts his position with doctrines advanced by thinkers like Feuerbach and Marx. Kierkegaard's seminal diagnosis of the human condition, which emphasizes the significance of individual choice, has arguably been his most striking philosophical legacy, particularly for the growth of existentialism. Both that and his arresting but paradoxical conception of religious belief are critically discussed, and Gardiner aptly concludes this lucid introduction by showing how Kierkegaard has influenced contemporary thought.
Scholars have largely misunderstood Soren Kierkegaard, remembering him chiefly in connection with the development of existentialist philosophy in this century. In a short and unhappy life, he wrote many books and articles on literary, satirical, religious and psychological themes, but the diversity and idiosyncratic style of his writing have contributed to a misunderstanding of his ideas. In this book--the only introduction to the full range of Kierkegaard's thought--Patrick Gardiner demonstrates how Kierkegaard developed his ideas and examines his thoughts in light of the doctrines on society developed by his contemporaries Marx and Feuerbach. Finally, he assesses the profound importance of Kierkegaard's ideas on the development of modern ways of thinking.
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