Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faithby Jacob Howland
Pub. Date: 04/28/2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This volume is a study of the relationship between philosophy and faith in Søren Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments. It is also the first book to examine the role of Socrates in this body of writings and it illuminates the significance of Socrates for Kierkegaard’s thought in general. Jacob Howland argues that in the Fragments, philosophy and faith are closely related passions. A careful examination of the role of Socrates in Fragments demonstrates that Socratic, philosophical eros opens up a path to faith. At the same time, the work of faith-- which holds the self together with that which transcends it, the finite with the infinite, and one’s life in time with eternityis essentially erotic in the Socratic sense of the term. Chapters on Kierkegaard’s Johannes Climacus and on Plato’s Apology and related dialogues shed light on the Socratic character of the pseudonymous author of the Fragments and the role of “the god” in Socrates’ pursuit of wisdom. Howland also analyzes the Concluding Unscientific Postscript and Kierkegaard’s reflections on Socrates and Christ in his unpublished papers.
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Table of ContentsIntroduction; 1. Johannes Climacus, Socratic philosopher; 2. Climacus's thought-project; 3. Platonic interlude: Eros and the God; 4. Climacus's poetical venture; 5. The paradox and the passion of thought; 6. Self-love and offense; 7. Faith and the contemporary follower; 8. Climacan interlude: on historical necessity; 9. The follower at second hand and the moral; 10. Socrates in postscript; 11. Kierkegaard on Christ and Socrates.
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