Kierkegaard's Psychology

Overview

Kierkegaard's Psychology, filled with penetrating analyses of the most central and important problems of psychology, opens a new window to understand these enduring problems through a Kierkegaardian lens. Explanations cover the full spectrum of expected topics: sexuality and the damages connected to moralistic condemnation of sexuality; identity and awareness; escape and despair; instinct, guilt, defense, and self-delusion; anxiety, duplicity, conflict, and crisis; the state of encapsulation in which the ...

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Overview

Kierkegaard's Psychology, filled with penetrating analyses of the most central and important problems of psychology, opens a new window to understand these enduring problems through a Kierkegaardian lens. Explanations cover the full spectrum of expected topics: sexuality and the damages connected to moralistic condemnation of sexuality; identity and awareness; escape and despair; instinct, guilt, defense, and self-delusion; anxiety, duplicity, conflict, and crisis; the state of encapsulation in which the individual rejects communication with the world and circles around himself; and the list goes on to include varieties of neurosis and psychosis.Parallels are made to Freudian and post-Freudian psychology, but the accent is put on Kierkegaard's major psychological project, namely, the analysis that obduracy, that sin, which consists in rejecting the possibility of being helped, in turning down "recovery" and clinging to one's own state of despair in spiteful love of it, leads individuals into the tragic zone of perpetually cherishing their own states of crisis. In the end, readers who either have no knowledge of Kierkegaard's concept of existentialism or a wrong notion of it, will be surprised to discover how very straightforward and realistic the Kierkegaardian problems are.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606085707
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: The Kierkegaard Classic Studies Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kresten Nordentoft lectured at University of Aarhus (Denmark) in Scandinavian literature. In 1974 he was a visiting professor at Duquesne University 's Psychology Department, acquainting both professors and students with Kierkegaardian theory.Bruce H. Kirmmse, Emeritus Professor of History at Connecticut College, is the author of Kierkegaard in Golden Age Denmark, Encounters With Kierkegaard, and numerous articles. His translations include Joakim Garff's Kierkegaard: A Biography. Kirmmse has served on the faculty of the University of Copenhagen, where he was director of the Department of S┬┐ren Kierkegaard Research, and as general editor of the 11 volume set of Kierkegaard's Journals and Notebooks.

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Table of Contents

Translator's Note ix

Bibliographical Note and Abbreviations xi

Introduction xvii

I Kierkegaard as a Psychologist 1

1 Kierkegaard's Method 1

1:1 Autopsy and Engagement 1

1:2 "Unum noris, Omnes" 2

1:3 Observation of Others 7

1:4 The Formation of Theories 10

2 "The Idea of Representation" 11

2:1 The Psychological Experiment 11

2:2 Psychology and "The Stages on Life's Way" 13

II "When the Child is to be Weaned..." 16

1 Separation 16

2 Anthropological Anxiety and Original Sin 17

3 "The Child's 'Me' 19

3:1 Adam and the Erotic Stages of Immediacy 19

3:2 The Theme of the Essay on Mozart 23

3:3 The First Stage 25

4 Individuation and Anxiety 30

4:1 The Second Stage 30

4:2 The Third Stage 33

4:3 Cordelia's Anxiety 34

4:4 Don Giovanni and the Commendatore 40

4:5 Adam 45

III The Individual and "The Race" 51

1 The Historical and Biological Concretion 51

2 Sexuality 53

2:1 The Exclusion of Sensuality 53

2:2 Integrated Sensuality 55

2:3 Sin Makes Sexuality Into Sin 56

2:4 "Love's Victory" 60

2:5 Sexuality and the Development of Consciousness 61

2:6 Sensuality and its Selfish Form 62

3 The Child and his Environment 65

3:1 "The Sins of the Fathers" 65

3:2 Anxiety about Sin Produces Sin 66

3:3 Upbringing 69

IV The Anthropological Model 73

1 From Child to Adult 73

2 Anthropology and Psychology 74

2:1 The Idea of Creation 74

2:2 Ethics, Christianity, Psychology 77

3 The Self 81

3:1 Consciousness and Concern 81

3:2 Dependence and Freedom 89

3:3 Development 91

3:4 Becoming 94

4 "To Acquire One's Soul inPatience" 98

4:1 The Doctrine of Anamnesis and Maieutics 98

4:2 To Own and to Acquire 103

4:3 Anthropological Model and Conflict Model 107

V The Conflict Model 110

1 The Vicious Circle 110

2 Revision of the Socratic Definition of Sin 114

2:1 Cognition, the Will, and the Lower Nature 114

2:2 Sin is Produced Ignorance 118

2:3 Original Sin 120

2:4 "... in order to bring about obscurity" 123

3 "The Hysteria of the Spirit" 124

4 Time 129

5 Ambiguousness and Unambiguousness 135

5:1 The Position of Ambiguousness 135

5:2 Unambiguousness and Double-Mindedness 137

5:3 Simplicity and Unambiguousness 138

6 Escape and Revenge 142

6:1 Freud and Kierkegaard 142

6:2 Freud's Theories of Anxiety 144

6:3 Escape Revenges Itself 151

6:4 Freud's Conflict Model 156

6:5 Retrospective or Functional Analysis 160

6:6 Defense and Symptom 163

7 Sin is a Condition 165

7:1 Science and its Limits 165

7:2 Guilt, Sin, and the Qualitative Leap 168

7:3 The Possibility of Offense 175

8 "The Formula for all Despair" 178

8:1 "Anxiety about the Good" 178

8:2 "Despair about the Eternal" 181

8:3 The Applicability of the Formulae 184

9 "The Self the Individual Knows" 187

9:1 "The Self is the Relationship to Itself" 187

9:2 The Genesis of Self-perception: the Standard of Measure and Fantasy 189

9:3 The Representation and the Represented 191

9:4 The Unconscious Choice 194

9:5 To Despair "Over Oneself" 197

VI "The Continuity of Sin" 200

1 The Formulae 200

2 "The Degrees of Consciousness about the Self" 202

3 "Activity-Passivity or Passivity-Activity" 209

4 "The Consistency of Evil" 214

4:1 Oblivion 214

4:2 The Impotence of the Demonic 217

4:3 The Power of Evil 219

5 Encapsulation 223

5:1 The Methods of Defense 223

5:2 "Everything is Self-Defense for Him" 226

5:3 Anxiety about Communication 227

5:4 "Pseudo-Continuity" 230

6 Madness 233

VII "The Forms of Despair" 240

1 Spiritlessness: The Social Complex 240

2 The Antigone Complex 256

2:1 Aggression Directed Inward 256

2:2 Reflected Sorrow 259

2:3 Sorrow and Grief 266

2:4 Antigone's Secret 269

3 The Problem of Guilt 273

3:1 Guilt-feeling and Guilt 273

3:2 Ritualism 275

3:3 The "Suppressed Consciousness of Sin" 279

3:4 Excursus on Freud 281

3:5 Insane Remorse 283

3:6 "Anxiety about the Evil" and "Anxiety about the Good" 286

4 The Richard III Complex 290

4:1 Hypocrisy 290

4:2 "Against Cowardice" 292

4:3 The Fear of Being Found Out 295

4:4 Melancholia's Self-Understanding 299

4:5 Universal Aggression 301

4:6 Moral Reaction-Formation 304

5 "What is a Poet?" 307

5:1 The Poet-Existence 307

5:2 Ways of Viewing Suffering 308

5:3 Sickness and Sublimation 311

5:4 "Poet-Existence with a Religious Tendency" 314

5:5 "But Now God Wants Things Otherwise" 318

VIII "Fundamental Recovery" 323

1 Kierkegaard's Problem and the Problem of Kierkegaard 323

2 Settling-Up With Kierkegaard? 325

2:1 Reductionism 325

2:2 Expertise and Contempt 327

3 Possibility, Actuality, and Communication 331

3:1 The Problem of Knowledge 331

3:2 Conclusion, Decision, "Belief" 337

3:3 The Incommunicable-and the Effect of Communication 340

3:4 Indirect Communication 344

4 Maieutics and Anthropology 347

4:1 Maieutics 347

4:2 Therapy 349

4:3 The Deception 354

4:4 The Analogy to Socrates 358

4:5 The Significance of Psychology 360

4:6 The Anthropological Question 362

4:7 "Works of Love" 365

4:8 "... the Consistency of the Good" 368

4:9 Many Sorts of Love 371

4:10 Love is Maieutics 374

4:11 "... Like the Sprout in the Grain" 376

Notes 387

Index 407

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