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Kierkegaard and the Limits of the Ethical$
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Anthony Rudd

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198752189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198752189.001.0001

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The Ethical

The Ethical

(p.68) 3 The Ethical
Kierkegaard and the Limits of the Ethical

Anthony Rudd

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the first main transition or leap that is required for the progress through Søren Kierkegaard's stages of life, that from the aesthetic to the ethical. This is presented mainly in either/or. Many moral philosophers have liked to set up a figure called amoralist. It is part of Kierkegaard's achievement, in trying to make philosophy ‘existential’, that in either/or he presents his followers with an extremely vivid literary portrayal of an amoralist. This chapter provides a rational reconstruction of their argument, but inevitably, the direct literary flavour that is a central part of Kierkegaard's philosophical method will be lost. This is an unavoidable inadequacy when exploring or proceeding philosophically.

Keywords:   Søren Kierkegaard, stages of life, aesthetics, ethics, amoralist, existential philosophy

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