Kierkegaard, Repetition and Ethical Constancy

Philosophical Investigations 40 (4):414-439 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


How can a person forge a stable ethical identity over time? On one view, ethical constancy means reapplying the same moral rules. On a rival view, it means continually adapting to one's ethical context in a way that allows one to be recognized as the same practical agent. Focusing on his thinking about repetition, I show how Kierkegaard offers a critical perspective on both these views. From this perspective, neither view can do justice to our vulnerability to certain kinds of crisis, in which our ethical self-understanding is radically undermined. I further examine his alternative account of ethical constancy, by clarifying Kierkegaard's idea of a ‘second ethics’, as addressed to those who feel ethically powerless and as requiring an ongoing process of self-transformation.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,164

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Kierkegaard on the Ethical Imagination.David J. Gouwens - 1982 - Journal of Religious Ethics 10 (2):204 - 220.
Apotheosis of actuality: Kierkegaard’s poetic life.S. Montgomery Ewegen - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):509-523.
The problem of Kierkegaard's socrates.Daniel Watts - 2017 - Res Philosophica (4):555-579.
Søren Kierkegaard’s Repetition. Existence in Motion.Ionuț Alexandru Bârliba - 2014 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 1 (1):23-49.


Added to PP

32 (#469,418)

6 months
5 (#510,007)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Daniel Watts
University of Essex

References found in this work

Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.
Wittgenstein on rules and private language.Saul A. Kripke - 1982 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 173 (4):496-499.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
Being and Time.Ronald W. Hepburn - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (56):276.

View all 41 references / Add more references