Philosophical Fragments Background

Philosophical Fragments Background

Soren Kierkegaard is a Danish philosopher and Christian theologian whose contributions were critical in the development of existential philosophy. In fact, he is regarded by some as the first true existential philosopher. He wrote Philosophical Fragments in the 1840's, which is astonishingly early in the evolution of existential thought.

Written under the pseudonym 'Johannes Climacus,' Philosophical Fragments constitutes a notable part of his philosophical and theological exposition, expounding on the intellectual distinction between Greek philosophy and religious philosophy. Through that epistemological lens, Kierkegaard explores the authenticity of theistic philosophy and challenges the religious ideas about the supremacy of religious faith, especially the faith of the Christians.

The title of the book is the same as a book that was published by Schlegel almost a half a century before Kierkegaard's. It is also likely that he also alluded to a read monastic, Johannes Climacus, who has been speculated to have articulated a similar philosophy to Kierkegaard himself. The impact of this contribution along with its companion books, which include De Omnibus Dubitantum Est (Everything is to be doubted), represent a turning point in Western thought.

Formerly, it was believed that faith in religious doctrine constituted a fundamental aspect of proper Christian thought. But what Kierkegaard argues is that thought according to a defensible logic is the higher belief system, and when faith is employed to complete some logical trajectory, it should be done sparingly and held in an open hand. He is responsible for the idea that Christians believe according to a leap of faith.

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