Philosophical Fragments Themes

Philosophical Fragments Themes


Kierkegaard acknowledges his merit as someone whose interests align with those that others hope to study through written work, but he especially holds his work to be material which may or may not be dilatory to the development of truth in humankind's knowledge. He reconciles his acclaim with the worry that his work will not engender the desired response through faith that the piece will provide the right words for others, even if he does not understand how they do that. Through this stance, he shows humility. Demonstrations of humility recur throughout the text.

The Need to Avoid Pointless Actions

Kierkegaard uses strong examples throughout the fragments of individuals from history to show how the repeated and frenzied actions of a person eager to participate do not have the potential to make a lasting impact on global history. The individuals he chooses to depict are mostly from Ancient Rome; because of this, the individuals' shameful moments look starkly embarrassing and unhelpful. Kierkegaard's dramatic presentation of choices the actors wished would signal a moment of triumph allows him to directly present his strong negative opinion of those who undertake unnecessary action in the hopes of being seen by others as industrious.


Kierkegaard does not wish attention from the writings to be returned to him, since he has chosen the private life of philosophy instead of a life in festivity. Moreover, he runs along a precarious stance of faith through the publication of thoughts which he does not know will impact people at the highest level; as such, he is interested only in having the focus of his writing turn to God. His religious faith allows him to create in the service of focus for the Lord. Kierkegaard does not desire to convert anyone, and a personal reception to his work would require him to either demure or qualify his beliefs. The theme of impersonality protects him from the potential status of his work as an overtly religious text. He wants it to be read for the concepts and then interpreted according to the individual reader's mind.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.