kierkkegaard’s fear and trembling
For what more is existence worth than to be laughed at when one has already
attained the highest by the age of twenty? And yet what higher movement has
the age discovered since the day it gave up entering the monastery? Is it not a
wretched worldly wisdom, prudence, cowardice that sits in place of honor,
cravenly dupes people into thinking they have attained the highest, and slyly
prevents them from even attempting lesser things?
Johannes de silentio [Sren Kierkegaard], Fear and Trembling
In this passage, and throughout Fear and Trembling, Johannes de silentio
maintains that what is greatest or highest in human existence is something that
cannot be comprehended in terms of ethics or in the way human freedom is understood
in the ethical sphere. At the same time, he repeatedly has recourse to stories about
loving relations as a critique and corrective of the ethical perspective.
How does Fear and Trembling function as a work of philosophical protreptic to
turn you, its reader, to a new orientation for leading your life?
In considering this question, be sure to discuss Johanness typology of the
aesthetic, ethical, and religious spheres of existence in terms of negative and
positive conceptions of freedom, that is, freedom conceived as freedom from- and
as freedom to-.
In view of Johanness theory in this work, what would he have you do?