Kierkegaard's concept of the self

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 8 (1-4):1 – 32 (1965)
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Abstract

Anti?Climacus (Kierkegaard) maintains that the self is, not the human psycho?physical synthesis of polarities, but the synthesis or relation ?related to itself?, which is ?freedom?. The author shows that this type of freedom or selfhood, though attained by free choice, is not itself freedom of choice. He contends that Anti?Climacus? statement about the self is too abstract and elliptical to be understood adequately from The Sickness Unto Death alone but is intelligible in terms of Judge William's doctrine of ?choosing oneself? ('Equilibrium...?, Either/Or, Vol. II), and that Anti?Climacus in all likelihood intended it to be so interpreted. Arguing that for the synthesis to ?relate to itself? and become ?freedom? is identical with its ?choosing itself? through despair and repentance so as to become liberated from aesthetic bondage, the author explains William's and Anti?Climacus? use of ?aesthetic? and draws attention to their pervasive distinction between innocent and culpable aestheticism

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