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Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,131 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
In Either/Or, using the voices of two characters - the aesthetic young man of part one, called simply 'A', and the ethical Judge Vilhelm of the second section - Kierkegaard reflects upon the search for a meaningful existence, contemplating subjects as diverse as Mozart, drama, boredom, and, in the famous Seducer's Diary, the cynical seduction and ultimate rejection of a yo ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 20th 1843)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mahdi
May 11, 2016 Mahdi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
معرفی اجمالی کتاب "یا این یا آن"
اثر سورن کیرکگور
به مناسبت خبر ترجمه ى كتاب توسط "صالح نجفى"

سه سپهر
کیرکگور در نظریه ی انسان شناسی خود، تبیین می کند که زندگی انسانی، سه وادی مختلف، سه سپهر مختلف، سه جهان مختلف دارد و هر کس، الزاماً در یکی از این سه سپهر زندگی می کند: سپهر لذت جویی، سپهر اخلاقی، سپهر ایمانی.

کتاب «یا این یا آن» به بررسی دو مرحله از این سه سپهر (سپهر لذت جویی، و سپهر اخلاقی) می پردازد که فرد باید یکی را برگزیند و نمی تواند در هر دو زندگی کند. کیرکگور می گوید به رغم آن چه هگل اصرار د
...more
Sean Wilson
A book full of musings on many different elements of life and issues which are still very much relevant today, Either/Or is a wonderful book, not just as a piece of philosophy, but as pure literature. Soren Kierkegaard writes like a poet, which makes his philosophical writings so entertaining and enlightening to read.

A guide to a meaningful existence, Kierkegaard explores the aesthetic and ethical ideologies of life through two characters: A, the aesthetician and Judge Wilhelm, the ethicist. Par
...more
AJ Griffin
Sep 09, 2007 AJ Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that you read that covers a bunch of things you had been thinking about on your own, at which point you realize "oh: i'm not really that smart, am I?"

But as a general rule, I like anyone who agrees with me, and I like the way Kerigaodigjadkfaodfkadsdfnsldfkasdfnlaskdn (sp?) writes. 4 stars from me.

also a very very good album, but that's a different deal.
matt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brent McCulley
Nov 21, 2014 Brent McCulley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Easily one of the best books I have read this year, as this year nears the end, I can say without a doubt that Kierkegaard was truly a genius. It is not without purpose that my mind immediately rushes to Nietzsche pithy aphorism on genius wherein he writes,
"Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than being misunderstood. In the latter case, perhaps his vanity suffers, but the former hurts his heart, his sympathy, which always says, "Alas, why do you want to have it as hard as I
...more
Marcus Speh
May 28, 2012 Marcus Speh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
kierkegaard's either/or which i first read in the german translation (possibly a little closer to the danish original) is a first rate philosophical excursion that, much like many of the works of nietzsche, is also a first rate literary pleasure. it is only reluctantly that i call this book "non-fiction". if published today, e.g. in mcsweeney's, either/or, k.s first published book, would blow people away just the same and lead to a global existential outcry of youths. k. has always informed my w ...more
Seri
Oct 04, 2007 Seri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: artists, seducers, judges
Shelves: booksireadin2006
Even if you are not interested in philosophy, this book is great to read just for its literary style. Kierkegaard speaks through a pseudonymous editor, who has compiled the diary of an aesthete who is also a seducer of young girls. Warning the aesthete is a judge who pleads with him to choose an ethical life over his aesthetic gallavanting lifestyle.

Kierkegaard is not only a great philosopher, but also a great writer. This is his first work and also the best introduction to his later philosophy.
...more
S.J. Pettersson
Apr 21, 2013 S.J. Pettersson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worn-spines
Either you have read this book, or you have not. If you have read it, you will not require a review, if you have not, non will suffice to describe its content.
A friend took me to visit Kierkegaard's grave at assistens kirkrgården in Copenhagen during a difficult time in my life. Ben Webster is also buried there.
Armin
From Part Two: (1) The Aesthetic validity of marriage

Marriage was constructed with highest in mind: lasting possession. To conquer, one needs pride; to possess, humility. To conquer one needs to be violent; to possess, to have patience. To conquer, greed; to possess, contentment... Pride lends itself superbly to representation, for what is essential in pride is not succession in time but intensity in the moment. Humility is hard to represent just because it is indeed successive. In the case of h
...more
kaśyap
Are passions, then, the Pagans of the soul? Reason alone baptized?

I guess the choice of this quote in the beginning of the book tells us a lot about the common thread in this book and the rest of his work.

So the book is divided into two parts and Victor Eremita is the editor who published the work.

The part I written by the young ironic aesthete “A” contains a lot of witty aphorisms, an essay on Mozart’s Don Giovanni, a very interesting essay on tragedy in ancient and modern drama and an insightf
...more
Michael
Either/or is discredited by its principle reliance on the necessity to choose between an aesthetic or ethical life. Kierkegaard makes the point that we have to choose between these if we want to have purpose to life because of the inherent contradiction between the two. However this choice seems arbitrary and unnatural. Even if necessary (which I doubt it is), why propose a philosophy that's impossible for a vast majority of people to apply?

While the logic is pretty shady for a work considered t
...more
Eve
Jan 20, 2012 Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enten you Love this / Eller you don't. It had a big impact on my life for sure...
Mike Maxwell
May 22, 2014 Mike Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of those rare things, a philosophical work that might actually change you. Works of philosophy should either make you look at the world differently, or yourself differently. Either/Or is in the latter class.

This is the first book by the first existentialist philospher, the Dane Soren Kierkegaard. In many ways it is unusual, such as I have described above, and also in terms of its structure. It is written under a pseudonym (Victor Eremita) who himself has not actually "written" t
...more
Jimmy
Jul 07, 2014 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Alastair Hannay writes that the "motivation" for Either/Or was "probably a combination of two things:" 1. breaking off with Regine Olsen and 2. his confrontation with Schelling's philosophy. I'm fascinated by the whole breakup story. I've long tried to figure out why he did it. I think it was Francis Bacon who said something like "He who has a wife and children has given hostages to fortune." Or maybe it was Kevin Bacon. In any case, I think Soren made the choice to write and he did not want any ...more
Logophile
This was a slow read. Not because it isn't interesting but because it demands every available brain cell be focused. His discussions of the aesthetic and then the ethical life are presented by means of letters, and a diary, written by different characters created by Kierkegaard. This is a devise to show the various views from the inside.
Having read Fear and Trembling before this definitely helped me sort out some of what he was saying. An understanding his views regarding despair, resignation,
...more
no_more_color
Jun 18, 2016 no_more_color rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Yes, I assure you that if my own life, through no fault of my own, were so fraught with sorrows and sufferings that I could call myself the greatest tragic hero, revel in my pain, and appal the world by calling attention to it, my choice is made; I divest myself of the hero's apparel and of tragedy's pathos, I am not the afflicted one who can be proud of his suffering, I am the humble one who is aware of his sin. I have only one expression for what I suffer-guilt; one expression for my pain-rep ...more
Matias Dalsgaard
I very much learned thinking and observing from Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard is at the same time a philosopher, a psychologist and a writer. In Either-Or you find all these aspects of Kierkegaard. The aesthetic observer in part one and the ethic and religious philosophy in part two of the book. A good place to start getting acquainted with Kierkegaard's style and intellectual universe.
Frank Della Torre
A work of genius. "What I am essentially concerned about with regard to the book as a whole," said SK, "is that the metaphysical significance at the bottom of it may become duly evident, the fact, namely, that everything brings one up squarely against the dilemma." The Either/Or is a decisive choice between practical alternatives. SK says again, "What is either/or? - if it is I who must say it who surely must know. Either/or is the word at which the folding doors fly open and the ideals appear - ...more
my name is corey irl
A: take many lovers! maximise enjoyment!
B: marry! love your wife with all your soule!
C: Most famous cat on the Internet: Maru - compilation (329.9 Mb)
Caitlin
This is a strange, interesting read. Kierkegaard has a thoughtful, and complex philosophy and it is hard to know what the man believes since he couches it in characters like the Aesthete and Judge Wilhelm.If the book were written in the 20th century it would probably be considered post-modern because while I think it is often classified as a novel, it has a unique structure.

The first part of the book is by the Aesthete character. He expounds upon Mozart's "Don Giovani" and is praising the epony
...more
Alina
Feb 11, 2014 Alina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, 2011
Two very different books in one. The supposed author of Part I is all spark, wit, and aesthetic finess, but is also very long-winded and exasperating in his self-absorption and Byron-esc mood of a tragic hero. The author of Part II starts out in a refreshing contrast to Part I, but soon disintegrates into a rather pedantic and dry monologue of conveniently conventional self-approval. Each part includes, at the end, an essay (for the lack of a better word) that casts a doubt on the value of every ...more
Wafiqa Almassri
Jun 15, 2014 Wafiqa Almassri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if we mistook the way we are meant to take? What if we took both ways? Walked them both? Lived two lives? Had two life-views? Who said one can only be "ONEself" after all?
Isn't life all about this binary- opposition system? What if we were this system operator? Its substance? And who can deny the existence of this enigmatic doubled power that sleeps in us?
Life has never been an Either/Or question; however, had it been so, we would have lived linearly, endlessly..

Kierkegaard, my first book
...more
Silvia
Apr 30, 2013 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I particularly liked (and also found easier to read) Diapsalmata, The Seducer's Diary, Equilibrium between the Aesthetic and the Ethical (...) and The Edifying in the Thought that Against God We Are Always in the Wrong. But, obviously, all of it is incredibly thought-provoking.
Lauren
Feb 24, 2012 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, academic
This is by far one of the best books of philosophy I've ever read. Kierkegaard's writing style is unique and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this as part of my degree and makes for interesting reflection and discussion.
Lily
Jan 11, 2009 Lily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I want to read this, because I read the summary on wikipedia and suddenly understood a line from The Handmaid's Tale that I have always liked but never quite been sure what it meant.
Lori
Jan 26, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a year-long project and focused most heavily on the chapter "The Unhappiest One." But the whole book made me think about things I've already spent decades thinking about -- the mark of a great book -- and helped crystallize some issues I'd never really settled on. The chapter I read most closely helped me finally understand the question of time in understanding my life.

This is a wonderful book, mostly accessible for any reader who likes to think. The examples Kierkega
...more
Michael
Jan 30, 2016 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was mainly interested in this book, as it seemed to be about making decisions and I was curious about the philosophy of K.. I fould the book very difficult to read and unstructured, especially in the first part. The some characters are also quire eccentric, not really realistic, which makes it difficult to relate to them. Some passages I liked for they provided philosophical insight or make you think. K. also has a talent of sometimes expressing things in aphorisms that bring certain things to ...more
H
Jul 03, 2014 H is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I depict hope so vividly that every hopeful individual will recognize himself in my portrayal; and yet it is a fake, for while I depict it I am thinking of recollection. (53; Diapsalmata)

Only where the idea is brought to rest transparently in a definite form can we talk of a classic work . . . (63; The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical Erotic)

. . . the greater the probability that no repetition is conceivable, the greater the probability that having found its expression it has acquired it o
...more
David Miller
This book is frustrating. On the one hand it is entertainingly clever, frames many important questions in interesting ways, and is a fascinating kind of literary composition, set up as a "conversation" between pseudonymous characters representing particular viewpoints. I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. But when I get down into the particulars, can't help but note that the two principal voices in the book are a creep and a bore, and it's not always obvious which is which.

All of it takes for gr
...more
Kevin
Jun 11, 2015 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-books
From Crop Rotation

There is a proposal to improve the State’s economy through savings. Can anything more boring be imagined? Instead of increasing the national debt, it is proposed to pay it off. From what I know of politics, it would be an easy matter for Denmark to take out a loan of fifteen millions. Why does no one think of that? That some person is genius enough not to pay his debt, that at least is something one hears of now and then; why shouldn’t a state be able to do the same if only a
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Existentialism: Crop Rotation 3 38 Jul 24, 2012 05:06AM  
Existentialism: The Unhappiest One 2 66 Jul 23, 2012 07:57AM  
Existentialism: Shadowgraphs 3 14 Jul 23, 2012 07:31AM  
Existentialism: The Immediate Erotic Stages or the Musical Erotic 15 42 Jul 20, 2012 07:33AM  
Existentialism: Diapsalmata 31 38 Jul 16, 2012 10:41AM  
Existentialism: (Unabridged Only) The First Love 1 10 Jul 13, 2012 08:37AM  
Kierkegaard: Eithor / Or 4 27 Jul 09, 2012 04:11PM  
  • Poetry, Language, Thought
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • Untimely Meditations
  • Of Grammatology
  • Truth and Method
  • The Philosophy of History
  • On the Aesthetic Education of Man
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
  • Existentialism and Human Emotions
  • Matter and Memory
  • The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • Resistance, Rebellion and Death: Essays
  • On Certainty
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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
More about Søren Kierkegaard...

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“I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.” 679 likes
“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant… My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known — no wonder, then, that I return the love.” 597 likes
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