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The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  1,362 ratings  ·  85 reviews
This edition replaces the earlier translation by Walter Lowrie that appeared under the title The Concept of Dread. Along with The Sickness unto Death, the work reflects from a psychological point of view Søren Kierkegaard's longstanding concern with the Socratic maxim, "Know yourself." His ontological view of the self as a synthesis of body, soul, and spirit has influenced ...more
Paperback, Kierkegaard's Writings #8, 293 pages
Published February 21st 1981 by Princeton University Press (NJ) (first published June 17th 1844)
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4.02  · 
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 ·  1,362 ratings  ·  85 reviews


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Darwin8u
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
― Søren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Anxiety

description

Sometimes, I am overtaken by a desire to read philosophy. I'm usually overcome with this impulse because of some random reason. DFW leads me to Wittgenstein. Trump leads me to Nietzsche. I chose this book because I am going to Copenhagen with my family in a couple months and wanted to pin down a couple Danish authors/writers before I left.

I figured it was either a book about anxiety or a book about mermaids. Oh, t
...more
Florencia
These things always create conflicting feelings in me. I liked the book, it is a major philosophical work. Kierkegaard's influence on contemporary thinking is unquestionable, thanks to little details such as being the first existentialist, having an incredibly creative mind that made him a relevant figure in literature, psychology, theology... However, it is not something I can relate to, or agree with (I am not quite comfortable saying this, but well, it is the truth).
(view spoiler)
...more
Paul Gleason
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of Kierkegaard's most difficult texts - and also one of his first. But it's a necessary read (and one I've been putting off for much too long) simply because it sets up many of the concepts that constitute his chief works.

In Anxiety, Kierkegaard explores the relationship between sin as a dogmatic and psychological concept. He holds that sin entered the world in historical time, when Adam made his choice in Eden. But, there's a catch. Because sin didn't exist before Adam, he couldn't
...more
B. P. Rinehart
"The Concept of Anxiety (original title Begrebet Angest) was first published in June 1844. Kierkegaard had just turned thirty-one. The modest edition of 250 copies, half the number of the other pseudonymous works, was finally sold out eleven years later, whereupon a second edition of 500 copies was ordered and published in August 1855, just three months before Kierkegaard died at the age of forty-two." - General background from the translator's introduction.


There will never not be a time in my l
...more
Jonathan
I struggled with this as I think it required greater familiarity with that with which he was arguing...plus as a non-believer, there is always a little bit of difficulty following him where he wants me to go. Nonetheless I still find him immensely stimulating, often very funny too.
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Kierkegaard is a gifted writer. He writes what he wants because he knows he's saying something worthwhile and lets his reading public be darned if they can't figure it out. He reminds me of Melville. He'd rather sell almost no books and say something of value than sell many books but say nothing of value.

This book gets at why I read books. Nothing to me is more important than understanding who we are as human beings and Kierkegaard gives an understanding for that within this book. He presumes th
...more
Nemo
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Woody Allen once joked, "I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in 20 minutes. It’s about Russia." I listened (and re-listened in part) to a 6-hour audiobook of The Concept Of Anxiety. It's about Original Sin.

(Read full review at Nemo's Library)
Hadrian
Kierkegaardian view of sin and anxiety and dread. Very clear and personal, if you have some necessary background of his concepts and references.
John Lucy
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The man, the myth, the legend. I rate just about every Kierkegaard book as a 5 because, even if I disagree with the man, he has such a creative mind: I have never finished reading an SK book without being challenged by an entirely new perspective and style of thought. The Concept of Anxiety is no different. Kierkegaard tackles sin and original sin, better termed hereditary sin, in a way that I'm not sure I've ever encountered before. Numerous times he simply sidesteps the question of why there i ...more
Sera
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a historic crush on Kierkegaard, a great mind.
Susan Marie
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely mind bending and needs to be digested in parts. I read this over the course of a year because the ideas that Kierkegaard proposes will split your left and right brain in half in a beauteous fashion. Soren brings to light how emotional disorders, specifically anxiety, are not illnesses, rather calls to awaken to your purpose. He takes ordinary religious themes and puts them into context that make them non religious. There is no explaining this volume. It must be read. I ad ...more
Will
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another Kierkegaard book that's more interesting to read about than to read. Here, the psychological argument isn't fleshed out, but revealed bit by bit, over 200 pages, through an overly abstract (and banal) theological exegesis.
Andee Nero
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love it but I didn't hate it... I liked that it made me feel less bad about my anxieties but it was hard for me to take it seriously. I did enjoy the dissection of hereditary sin. I'll take away a few gems and that's about it.
Onur Çukur
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strange journey to mankind's inner thoughts and emotions with psychological inferences.
Gastjäle
I skimmed through it, and lost my faith in the translators. For instance, the footnotes were sometimes mixed (couldn't always tell the difference between Kierkegaard's and the translators') and biased. Also, they had the temerity to leave some German passages untranslated! Such things weren't a continuous occurrence, yet it undermined my trust in the book I'm reading, which is indeed a bad thing.

Kierkegaard himself seemed like a rather irascible and contradictory author. He couldn't help dispara
...more
Dimitris Passas
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
''The Concept of Anxiety'' is a historical treatise on the concept of anxiety and its relation with the original sin as well as the concepts of Good and Evil. Kierkegaard examines those problems from the Christian perspective, though his approach to the Christian doctrine is quite differentiated from the formality of the official Christian dogma. Kierkegaard highlights the subjective element and he views humans as entities which are separated from the objective World and as totally responsible f ...more
Michael
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The purpose of this book is “to treat ‘anxiety’ psychologically in such a way as to have in mind and view the dogma of hereditary sin”…which essentially means giving a phenomenological account of anxiety to explain the existence of sin. In short: Why do we sin? Because we are anxious. This short, dense, and sometimes freewheeling book can get pretty wild but at the heart of it is a simple insight: anxiety expresses our relation to the possible future, it is therefore fundamental to our freedom—t ...more
Hadi Mortada
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find this one as one of the most thrilling books I've ever read. Actually it is the first book from Kierkegaard I've ever read. If it was my first time with Kierkegaard the climax couldn't be better. Indeed somehow in the end I could tell that he did take the composition, if not the material or the content from Plato's Phaedo. At the end, it totally clarified the new, not concept, nor value, but idea.
V.G. Castle.

I tried to grasp the meaning of this book but I constantly got lost.
At one point he is talking about Adam and Even and then at the next point there is a kind of system.

I think this book is not just for me.
Bett Correa-Bollhoefer
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A mind spinning book. I love this guy.
Branko Nikovski
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kierkegaard
Paraphrasing Kierkegaard's maxim ''if you learn to be anxious in the correct way , you have learned the ultimate[freedom]''. One of the major philosophical and prior-Freud psychological work. The first existentialist [Kierkegaard] analyses in his own words the dizziness of the freedom. For him, that is anxiety [ later, for his disciples[existentialists] , ''nausea'' is the continental modern term for anxiety ]. This difficult work explains the dogmatic sin , not in archaic way , but through psyc ...more
John
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I read this in Norwegian, as it is closer to the original Danish, to see if Kierkegaard was easier to "get" that way. In some way he is, but the language is still pretty complex. Maybe it is just the way he writes, the words he uses, and how he constructs the argument, but it does not all fly with me. It seems like so much is just irrelevant, and then he loses my interest until he catches it again. Well, anyway, this book is rather good in its own since - it is a theological, philosophical and p ...more
Matt
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existential
Kierkegaard flushes out dread, or what in later additions is referred to as anxiety by explaining the connection dread / anxiety has to freedom. Dread and anxiety are freedom, the freedom that there are possibilities in existence, and that we need to choose. It could be that we choose right, but are still worried if we did (dread of evil) or it could be that we are worried we may have chosen right (dread of the good). Overall, it's an argument that helps situate anxiety or dread as primarily abo ...more
Garret
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Anxiety may be compared with dizziness. He whose eye happens to look down into the yawning abyss becomes dizzy. But what is the reason for this? It is just as much in his own eye as in the abyss, for suppose he had not looked down. Hence anxiety is the dizziness of freedom, which emerges when the spirit wants to posit the synthesis and freedom looks down into its own possibility, laying hold of finiteness to support itself. Freedom succumbs in this dizziness."
Judy
Apr 16, 2010 added it
I kept hoping that this book would say something significant about anxiety, but it simply related the author's observations and opinions.
Ben Jones
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paradigm-shift
1-10 Takeaways:
1) “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”
The first type of anxiety results from an abundance of choice.
2) “Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.”
The second type of anxiety results from the "leap" out of freedom and into sinfulness. If one is able to recognize anxiety resulting from sin and then "leap" to faith (rather than spiraling down a rabbit hole of further sin to cope with past anxiety), then they have "learned the ultimate."
3) Kier
...more
Marian
I don't know if it's the material or the translation or some combination of both, but The Concept of Anxiety is not nearly as accessible as Works of Love or Fear and Trembling. The other two are easy by comparison. Though the vocabulary itself is (mostly) simple, I probably understood less than 20% of this book, in part because Kierkegaard is here responding to the work of other philosophers, with some expectation that his reader is familiar with the larger dialogue. Those having a background in ...more
Jan Goericke
English is my second language and it showed on this super fast narrative. The last third of the book, .aybe since I got used to the verbal bombardment, was very enjoyable. I learned quite a bit from Kierkegaard regarding the original sin and its interpretation w.r.t. psychology and theology. Being written before Freud, some aspects of the text were modified in later years, but I appreciated the wit and passion of Kierkegaard's writing. It encouraged me to actually read more of his books albeit i ...more
Aaron
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book took a very long time to read for its short length, but it was worth the effort. I would like to believe that I "get" Kierkegaard, but I think I'm still in training. You know how some kinds of music, especially certain composers, require a kind of breaking-in period before you can "hear" them? Kierkegaard is like that for me. I can't "hear" everything, but the strains I can make out are pure gold.
Mike Morris
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The entire reason for the five-star rating is the high-level in which the book is written. However, I wonder what may be lost in translation, as some sentences directly contradict themselves. Nevertheless, the Concept of Dread is traced as a function of sin, traced from its beginnings in the Garden of Eden and filtered through various concepts, such as fate, guilt and the recognition of good.
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3,197 followers
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
“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” 2592 likes
“Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.” 37 likes
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