The Logic of Contemporaneity: On Anti-Climacus’s Philosophy of History

Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook 27 (1):95-121 (2022)

Abstract

Near the end of Practice in Christianity, Kierkegaard’s pseudonym Anti-Climacus denies that progress occurs within history. We are not getting better every day, in every way. According to Anti-Climacus, we are the same as we have always been. This essay sets Anti-Climacus’s denial of progress in its historical context, arguing that he develops a counter-philosophy of history which combats the prevailing Hegelianism of his age. The essay also draws connections between Anti-Climacus’s philosophy of history and the themes of imitation and contemporaneity, showing how a denial of history’s progress enables contemporary humans to interact with the same world Christ faced.

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