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A Confusion of the SpheresKierkegaard and Wittgenstein on Philosophy and Religion$
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Genia Schönbaumsfeld

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199229826

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229826.001.0001

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The Point of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Authorship

The Point of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Authorship

(p.37) 2 The Point of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Authorship
A Confusion of the Spheres

Genia Schönbaumsfeld (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard share an ‘ethical’ conception of philosophy that aims at a self-transformation of the reader rather than at theorizing and metaphysical system-building. For both philosophers profundity is an ethical qualification requiring self-mastery, since what has to be overcome, in order to free oneself of philosophical illusion, is a difficulty with respect to the will rather than the intellect. The ‘symmetrical’ reading of the point of Kierkegaard's and Wittgenstein's philosophical authorship developed in this chapter is defended against criticisms advanced against such a conception by D. Z. Phillips. It is shown that Phillips' objections either rest on very questionable premises or else are trivial (that is, they assert what everyone would admit).

Keywords:   authenticity, D. Z. Phillips, existence sphere, indirect communication, Kierkegaard, philosophy, profundity, pseudonymity, qualitative dialectic, Wittgenstein

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