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The Intersubjectivity of Love according to Soren Kierkegaard

Nuel Sabate
thenuelsabate.04@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
This is paper is about understanding the Intersubjectivity of love in the works of

Kierkegaard. The paper analyzes the different works and philosophy of Kierkegaard, and

putting to light what is his concept of love and intersubjectivity. For a very long time, the

Individual or the Self are seen as mere individualism, but in this paper, the such concepts

would be seen in the lens of sociality and intersubjectivity. The paper would then conclude

to expose that the Intersubjectivity of love is self-responsibility and authenticity in front of

Love, or simply God. The paper recommends a further look into the very nature of

Kierkegaardian concept of love, responsibility, and intersubjectivity.

Key words: Intersibjectivity, Love, Kierkegaard, Individual, Self


Review of Related Literatures

The Promise of Kierkegaard


Kenneth Hamilton
1969
JB Lippincott Company, New York

Here, Hamilton explains the various thoughts and theories of Kierkegaard as connected
and related to the Christian philosophy. He emphasized the great influence of the
Hegelian dialectic of the Absolute Spirit to Kierkegaard’s line of thinking. Although this
kind of influence is not positive, the influence remains great and deep. It seemed that
Kierkegaard’s life’s quest was to criticize the purveying Hegelian ideology. Hamilton
remarked Kierkegaard, “He wrote as if possessed by a demented demon with a sense of
humor.” He emphasized the great deal of Kierkegaard’s life into the formulation of his
thoughts. Jokingly he states, “no one imagined any good thinker could come out of
Copenhagen.” In the epigram of Benjamin Disraeli which Hamilton cites, “read history;
nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.

Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy: An Introduction


Michael Weston
1994
Routledge, New York

Weston, in here, compares Kierkegaard with some of the most famous modern thinkers,
such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. He wrote, “Post-metaphysical thought in
Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida shows certain central characteristics which have their
parallels in Kierkegaard, a style of writing at variance with that of the metaphysical
tradition which has its rationale in the ‘situatedness’ of the ‘truth’, but ans intervention into
that situation.” In the different kinds of philosophy presupposed by Kierkegaard, Hamilton
just parallelized them to Kierkegaardian ideology. Further, he wrote, “Niezsche’s ude of
aphorism, stories, poems, the fictional character of Zarathustra, Heidegger’s etymologies
and poetic thinking, and Derrida’s ‘double-thinking’, are strategies of writing demand by
the essentially situated character of their thought.” For Weston, the Modern Continental
thought is somewhat focused into the “situation” of the society and the self.

Studies in the Philosophy of Kierkegaard


E.D. Klemke
1976
Martinus Nijhoff – The Hague, The Netherlands

Klemke starts his book by posing the misinterpretations on the thoughts of Kierkegaard.
He used Prof. Paston’s faulty interpretations to pose such misinterpretations. He blames
the insufficiency of the translations done, paving the cause to a lot of misunderstandings.
Next, Klemke laid out Kierkegaard’s ethical theory. He wrote, “The problem arises from
the fact that Kierkegaard nowhere fully state his theory about ethical theory. He, rather
for the most part, demonstrates it and allows the reader to develop the exposition of it.”
The difficulty of understanding his ethics is that he just laid out what might be without
laying out the good and the bad. His definition of ethics is also very confusing. There are
two meaning in the word “Ethics”. The first refers to the traditional concept which is the
discourse of the good and the bad. “The second meaning refers to that which is existent,
rather than merely an object of thought.” Mainly, Klemke sees that Kierkegaard’s ethical
theory is centered on intersubjectivity. Then, one of the most striking claims Klemke poses
is that Kierkegaard is not theistic. Arguably, his proposition poses that Johannes
Climacus, one of his pseudonyms, is not a theistic in traditional terms, making him not
theistic, although not atheistic also.
Kierkegaard’s Concept of Authentic Existence
Romula Lofranco
1998
Saint Paul Seminary

His thesis circles on the value of human existence. For him, as he advises in his
conclusion, human existence is an unfinished process; it goes one. The person in his will
and decisions forms the course of his life.

Soren Kierkegaard’s Philosophy of Life’s Choice


Dennis Viñas
2004
Saint Paul Seminary

His thesis is about choice. This choice must have an aspect of commitment in which love
is necessary in achieving lasting commitment. In the course of someone’s life, one must
commit on a choice in which is a fruit of love.

The Kierkegaardian Despair and the Leap of Faith


Rex Anthony Dondo
2004
Saint Paul Seminary

Dondo’s idea of Kierkegaardian Despair is a process which a person leaping into faith
must cross. This stage is important for a person to leap upward, but it only means that
the “despairer” is a person who has not yet leaped.
The Roles of Love in the thought of Kant and Kierkegaard
Daryl J Wenneman
http://www.sorenkierkegaard.nl/artikelen/Engels/109.%20The%20role%20of%20love%2
0in%20Kant%20and%20Kierkegaard.pdf (Accessed November 19, 2017)

The article follows the suggestion of Ronald Green’s idea that Kierkegaard is somehow
dependent on Kant’s The Metaphysics of Morals in order to develop his own principle of
divine love. Where Kant saw only a peripheral role in the moral life, in here, Kierkegaard
places love at the center of human life in Works of Love. The leap of Faith requires that
every aspect of life be informed by love in response to God’s love for us.

Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity
Rick Anthony Furtak
Ars Disputandi, Volum 6, 2006
University of Zurich, Switzerland
Notre Dame Press

The title of Rick Anthony Furtak’s book is programmatic: Wisdom shall not be seen as the
rational alternative to the emotion of love; rather, philosophy, the love of wisdom, shall
discover wisdom in love and acknowledge the rationality of emotions. The subtitle refers
to the methodological approach: After beginning with a critical consideration of ancient
Stoicism and its disdain for the emotions, the study draws upon Søren Kierkegaard’s
writings in order to develop a conceptual account of emotional integrity. As the author
announces in the preface, the outcome ‘of this guide for the emotionally perplexed is a
conception of what it would mean to trust oneself to be rational in being passionate. The
book is carefully composed. It is divided into three parts, each containing four chapters.
Part I mainly discusses the twofold failing of Stoicism, Parts II and III attempt to develop
a moral philosophy of emotion that could stand as a positive alternative to Stoicism.

Works of Love
Soren Kierkegaard
Trans. Howard Hong
Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated, 1962

In this book, Kierkegaard discusses love for one’s neighbor, while also addressing the
love for two people. Although some scholars think that Kierkegaard avoided talking love
as definitive, rather descriptive. Since the title goes “works of love”, those scholars believe
that truly Kierkegaard tried not to define love per se, but what love does, but in my own
understanding, one can really understand the actuality of love through understanding
what it does and how it does. Kierkegaard also tries to combine the intimate love between
two people and the Christian love for neighbor. He claims that in order to have love for
one’s neighbor, one must see through the and change the normal love relationship
between two people. This change will happen by means of a third party involved in the
relationship. For love to be complete, Kierkegaard proposes that between the love of the
lover and beloved, there must be a third party involvement which is Love, or as he says,
God. The love of neighbor must contain these three characteristics.

Soren Kierkegaard: An Authentic Life


Ben Alex
Scandinavia Publishing House, 1997

In this book, the author, Ben Alex, collected interviews from high caliber authorities on the
philosophy of Kierkegaard. He wrote introductions on each topic but the majority of the
content of the book is a collection of different insights of different authors and academics
on the study of Kierkegaard. A part from the richness of different authors in their thoughts,
Ben Alex inserted reflections on different sights in Copenhagen, where the Danish
Philosopher has lived. He highlighted some key concepts regarding Kierkegaard’s
philosophy, namely on love, repetitions, Christianity, and the very biography of the Dane.
In the book, a lot of famous quotes and ideas of Kierkegaard are posted in between
pages.