Kierkegaard’s emulation of Socrates in the concept of irony

Praxis 2 (1):11-29 (2009)

Abstract

Kierkegaard’s appropriation of Socrates in his work is a well trodden area of inquiry for the Kierkegaard scholar. It is often assumed that Kierkegaard’s earlier work The Concept of Irony does not share the same attitude towards Socrates as the later texts; thus the dissertation is regularly overlooked. This paper challenges this orthodoxy through a close reading of The Concept of Irony. While Kierkegaard’s emulative orientation to Socrates is usually associated with the authorship proper, I will endeavour to locate such emulation in Kierkegaard’s dissertation. I will attempt to show that Kierkegaard presents Socrates as totally consumed by irony yet deliberately undermines the method employed to reach this reading of Socrates. This ironic method of investigation, I claim, mimics a characteristic that both the early and the later Kierkegaard associate with Socrates: the effect of Socratic irony that induces a transformation in an interlocutor’s subjective orientation toward a phenomenon. The author of the The Concept emulates Socratic irony in the hope that his readers will alter how they see Socrates rather than what they see; I will argue that this aspect of The Concept’s style is a significant point of similarity between this early work and the later authorship.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,743

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-21

Downloads
20 (#563,365)

6 months
1 (#387,390)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Matt Bennett
University of Essex

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Socratic Irony, Plato's Apology, and Kierkegaard's On the Concept of Irony.Paul Muench - 2009 - In Niels Jørgen Cappelørn, Hermann Deuser & K. Brian Söderquist (eds.), Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook. de Gruyter. pp. 71-125.
Ironic Midwives: Socratic Maieutics in Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.Joseph Westfall - 2009 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (6):627-648.
Subjective Thinking: Kierkegaard on Hegel's Socrates.Daniel Watts - 2010 - Hegel Bulletin of Great Britain 61 (Spring / Summer):23-44.
Kierkegaard on Mastered Irony.Brad Frazier - 2004 - International Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):465-479.
Love as a Problem of Knowledge in Kierkegaard's Either/Or and Plato's Symposium.Ulrika Carlsson - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):41-67.
Kierkegaard's Socratic Task.Paul Muench - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Kierkegaard on the Problems of Pure Irony.Brad Frazier - 2004 - Journal of Religious Ethics 32 (3):417 - 447.
A Tendencia Total da Ironía en Søren Kierkegaard.Oscar Parcero Oubiña - 2008 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 64 (2/4):981 - 999.
The Literary Kierkegaard.Eric Ziolkowski - 2011 - Northwestern University Press.