Kierkegaard: Concluding Unscientific Postscript

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Overview

The main objective of Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy is to expand the range, variety and quality of texts in the history of philosophy which are available in English. The series includes texts by familiar names (such as Descartes and Kant) and also by less well-known authors. Wherever possible, texts are published in complete and unabridged form, and translations are specially commissioned for the series. Each volume contains a critical introduction together with a guide to further reading and any necessary glossaries and textual apparatus. The volumes are designed for student use at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and will be of interest not only to students of philosophy but also to a wider audience of readers in the history of science, the history of theology, and the history of ideas.

Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript is a classic of existential literature. It concludes the first and richest phase of Kierkegaard's pseudonymous authorship and is the text that philosophers look to first when attempting to define Kierkegaard's own philosophy. Familiar Kierkegaardian themes are introduced in the work, including truth as subjectivity, indirect communication, the leap, and the impossibility of forming a philosophical system for human existence. The Postscript sums up the aims of the preceding pseudonymous works and opens the way to the next part of Kierkegaard's increasingly turbulent life: it can thus be seen as a cornerstone of his philosophical thought. This volume offers the work in a new and accessible translation by Alastair Hannay, together with an introduction that sets the work in its philosophical and historical contexts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a colossal achievement... the most inviting and accessible... I [recommend] this edition highly. Aesthetically, it is a masterpiece: it brings Climacus to life in English as never before; it expertly initiates the reader into the Postscript's riddles and satisfactions. It is, in sum, ideal for the non-specialist reader — and the clear best choice for the undergraduate classroom."
—David D. Possen, Yale University

"....a tremendous achievement to translate the Postscript. In addition to its sheer size, this book is one of the most philosophically demanding and stylistically complex works in Kierkegaard’s corpus. We should all be grateful to Hannay for his efforts.... the publication of the new Cambridge edition of the Postscript is truly an event to be celebrated. Hannay is clearly one of our generation’s most important translators of Kierkegaard. In bringing out this new translation, he has given us all a fine opportunity to approach Climacus’ great work with new eyes."
—Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, Paul Muench, University of Montana

"....Those attracted to Kierkegaard for his dialetical triple axels have long awaited a fresh translation of this marvel of a book.... illuminating and exceptional clear introduction...."
—Gordon Marino, St. Olaf College, Christian Century

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alastair Hannay is Professor Emeritus, University of Oslo.

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Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chronology xxxi

Further reading xxxiii

Note on the translation xxxvii

Concluding Unscientific Postscript To The Philosophical Crumbs 1

Preface 3

Contents 7

Introduction 11

Part 1 The Objective problem of Christianity's truth 19

1 The historical view 21

2 The speculative view 44

Part 2 The subjective problem. The subject's relation to the truth of Christianity, or what it is to become a Christian 51

Section 1 Something on Lessing 53

1 An expression of gratitude to Lessing 53

2 Possible and actual theses of Lessing 61

Section 2 The subjective problem, or how subjectivity must be for the problem to appear to it 107

1 Becoming subjective 107

2 The subjective truth, inwardness; truth is subjectivity 159

3 Actual, ethical subjectivity; the subjective thinker 252

4 The problem of the Crumbs: how can an eternal happiness be built on historical knowledge? 303

5 Conclusion 494

Appendix Understanding with the reader 520

A first and last declaration S. Kierkegaard 527

Index 532

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