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The Essential Kierkegaard

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,427 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
This is the most comprehensive anthology of Soren Kierkegaard's works ever assembled in English. Drawn from the volumes of Princeton's authoritative "Kierkegaard's Writings" series by editors Howard and Edna Hong, the selections represent every major aspect of Kierkegaard's extraordinary career. They reveal the powerful mix of philosophy, psychology, theology, and literary ...more
Paperback, 524 pages
Published June 19th 2000 by Princeton University Press (first published August 27th 1996)
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Mar 20, 2012 knig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
The case of Kierkegaard (as opposed to Kierkegaard’s case, which does not exist) is a conundrum. His polemy has been appropriated as mascot to the causes of existentialism, phenomenology, theology , philosophy and .....(fill in the blank. As long as it ends in ‘gy’. Go on), each drawing parasitically from his cornucopia (of groszartig gibberish) to substantiate their cause celebre.

This can be easily done. Because Kierkegaard is a virtuoso of the verbose, spinning square (linguistic) pegs into c
Mar 18, 2010 Szplug rated it it was amazing
In the high stakes game of life, bringing Kierkegaard to the table gives a player the equivalent of a flush - the essentials are all here to assemble the various suits of humanity with the requisite five cards: passion, sincerity, reflection, curiosity, and humour. Whether you are Christian or not, his spiritual tetherhooks provide vitally needed support in stabilizing the platform for a probing of oneself and one's placement in this infinitely vast material mystery. This expertly edited book co ...more
Rachel Wagner
Aug 15, 2007 Rachel Wagner rated it it was amazing
There is so much more to Kierkegaard than the text books give him credit for. He is often painted as a relativist, but I find that description too simplistic. He encourages people to actually think about what they are doing, so that when they act, it is with their entire being. He describes it as a "perfect leap of faith". He tells us to do things because we actually believe in them-not just out of duty, tradition or community pressure. This is the point of the essay on walking the dog at Deer P ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Brainarchy rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
It took me some time to read this book but it was worth it.
Here are some of my favourite lines:

"But he who becomes guilty through anxiety is indeed innocent, for it was not he himself but anxiety, a foreign power, that laid hold of him, a power that he did not love but about which he was anxious."

"Anxiety is neither a category of necessity nor a category of freedom; it is entangled freedom, where freedom is not free in itself but entangled, not by necessity, but in itself."

"... only when it is a
Abimelech Abimelech
Jan 09, 2014 Abimelech Abimelech rated it it was amazing
I have no idea how I missed cataloging this one - it's been one on my coffee table for literally over a year, one I keep out for people crashing over. Great introduction. I have to start paying closer attention to things around here. Wonder what the hell else I missed.
Jun 01, 2016 R. rated it liked it
There's really no competition for this anthology other than the old Bretall anthology, but I had some issues with it. Even without knowing Danish, one could tell on occasion that the translators were making questionable choices (the most noteworthy of which was "upbuilding" which I would have rendered despite reservations as "edifying," as in the older translations). In general, I found that Alistair Hannay's translations were more graceful and effective. While I shall have to continue to use th ...more
Donna Kirk
Apr 13, 2012 Donna Kirk rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I need another cat, because I would like to name something of note in my life Soren. I finished this yesterday, 09/10/09, and I immediately picked up Chekov's stories.

William Schram
This book is a collection of excerpts from the works of Søren Kierkegaard. One minute he's talking about Ladies fashion and how that allows his character to be in control of women, and the next minute he is talking about theological implications of philosophical thought. Kierkegaard was an interesting person through his writings. He preferred to use pseudonyms and just say that he was editing the works rather than providing them. I really enjoyed the book, it was quite interesting and thought pr ...more
Jan 11, 2009 Jamestohal rated it it was amazing
This is a great tool, put together by reputable people, for anyone looking to grasp the K man.
Nov 29, 2015 daniel marked it as to-read
Shelves: religion, philosophy
(unless one of you could suggest a better place to start with Kierkegaard)
Feb 21, 2013 Christopher rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I had heard about the philosopher Kierkegaard some time ago and had this book on my list of things to read for some time. Now that I have finally finished reading it, I can say that his works are very interesting, but also very difficult to grasp at times. Since this book is made with philosophy students in mind, this is not a book for the uninitiated to tread lightly into. Some of the excerpted works are excellent and I will definitely be looking to read them in their entirety in the future (Fe ...more
Dustyn Hessie
Kierkegaard is certainly one of the most versatile spiritualist's I've ever read: philosophy, aesthetics, beautiful writing - what more can one ask for?

This edition is a very good start, but be warned that his circumlocutions can be an eye-full to the inexperienced young thinker. But, if you're really bold just slam through the tome, consuming as much spirit as possible, in utter awe... and it might all just come to you in a FLASH! That's how It happens!

Also: it seems as though Kierkegaard's w
Malachi Mojica
Apr 03, 2012 Malachi Mojica rated it did not like it
Kierkegaard... you crazy mfugger. His ideas only appear complex because of how he writes. He has no continuity of thought, and intentionally takes on multiple viewpoints - literally different aliases at times - in order to confuse his reader so that its literally impossible to read, and my professor was all like, "Thas some classic Kierkegaard righ' ther." Yea. right. You want to know what Kierkegaard is like? 1) Go to a Taiwanese whore house 2)Contract syphilis 3) WRITE PHILOSOPHY, BECAUSE THAT ...more
Jun 12, 2016 I-kai rated it really liked it
I generally avoid anthologies but this is a really, really good selection. It isn't easy to isolate meaningful, stand-alone passages from K. and give the big picture of his thought. This reader really worked, highly recommended.
Charlene Lewis- Estornell
Jul 14, 2015 Charlene Lewis- Estornell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Fantastic but depressing. I found this volume in a book shelf at my parents house and read it before bed while staying there. I was riveted but decidedly depressed about life after each reading. It was worth the sadness.
Aug 12, 2013 Pishowi rated it really liked it
This is the most comprehensive anthology of Søren Kierkegaard’s works ever assembled in English. Drawn from the volumes of Princeton’s authoritative Kierkegaard’s Writings series by editors Howard and Edna Hong, the selections represent every major aspect of Kierkegaard’s extraordinary career. They reveal the powerful mix of philosophy, psychology, theology, and literary criticism that made Kierkegaard one of the most compelling writers of the nineteenth century and a shaping force in the twenti ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I admit, Kierkegaard challenges me big time! Very difficult reading, but there is treasure to be found. "Compared with the person who is conscious of his despair, the despairing individual who is ignorant of his despair is simply a negativity further away from the truth and deliverance…Yet ignorance is so far from breaking the despair or changing despair to no despair that it can in fact be the most dangerous form of despair."
Nov 06, 2011 Carlo rated it it was ok
While I appreciate the overall scope, and especially the access to some of Kierkegaard's more obscure pieces, I am generally frustrated by the fact that certain passages are skipped without warning. The eternal frustration of any abridged work I suppose, but I find it particularly annoying with Kierkegaard.
A wonderful collection of readings. A treasure for always, one of the best books I have ever owned.
It's been a joy this first month of owning it to engage with new and favourite writings. Very restorative, not just as K., but as a serious centre, delightfully funny as it usually is!
Aug 21, 2008 James rated it liked it
This book serves as a fairly good introduction to his work, but all the selections are excerpts, so you won't be able to read an entire work without going out and finding it individually -- or unless you go find a real anthology.
Jul 27, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok
Probably read it too fast to appreciate it a non-specialist you need to be in the right frame of mind to read a book like this, and I simply wasn't. Like rain on hard ground, not much soaked in.
Apr 02, 2009 Julia added it
My graduation gift from Mark. The fact that I received it nearly a year ago and am still reading it pretty much says it all. I enjoy Kierkegaard in small doses.
Joseph Monroe
Jan 24, 2011 Joseph Monroe rated it it was amazing
Haven't finished reading all the passages yet, but have read enough to know that Kierkegaard is one of my all time favorites
Feb 19, 2007 katie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
kierkegaard is one of my favorites...i haven't read everything in here, but recommend it wholeheartedly nonetheless.
Feb 05, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
If you want to get to know the essential message of Kierkegaardian philosophy this reader is the way to go.
Feb 04, 2008 Travis rated it really liked it
Kierkegaard is the Woody Allen of philosophers. Funny, insightful, irreverent. Enjoyable.
Dec 08, 2007 Niki rated it really liked it
veryyyyy helpful in understanding the fundamental philosophy of this crazy man
Jun 28, 2012 Annie marked it as to-read
I want to read this in conjunction with "The Moviegoer"
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Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark. Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individua ...more
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