He is remembered for his philosophy, which was influential in the development of 20th century existentialism. Alastair Hannay is Professor of Philosophy at the. 1 Homing in on Fear and Trembling. 6. Alastair Hannay. 2 Fear and Trembling’s “ Attunement” as midrash. Jacob Howland. 3 Johannes de silentio’s dilemma. The perfect books for the true book lover, Penguin’s Great Ideas series features twelve more groundbreaking works by some of history’s most prodigious.

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The “most famous intellectual heirs,” not being “as a rule” among Kierkegaard’s “most attentive readers,” far swiftly passed over. It begins like this, “Once upon a time there was a man who as a child had heard that beautiful story of how God tempted Abraham and of how Abraham withstood the temptation, kept the faith, and, contrary to expectation, got a son a second time.

Fear and Trembling – Wikipedia

Fear and Trembling begins with a Preface by Johannes de silentio. And here he stood on the mountain early in the morning, the old man with his one and only hope.

I invoke everything good for the system and for the Danish shareholders in this omnibus, for it will hardly become a tower. Davenport who focus on Abraham’s trust rather than his obedience.

The detailed exposition elucidates Abraham’s situation dialectically and lyrically, bringing out as problemata the teleological suspension of the hannya, the assumption of an absolute duty toward God, and the purely private character of Abraham’s procedure; thus showing the paradoxical and transcendent character of a relation in which the individual, contrary to all rule, is precisely as an individual, higher than the community. But Abraham’s ‘inability to become open is terror” to him.

Not with that merely executive activity are we chiefly concerned as moralists and philosophers. Who, after all, could understand him, for did not the nature of temptation extract from him a pledge of silence? It was now, probably, that he became more fully cognizant of his plan, and of what was necessary to its development.


Then we have only the choice between being nothing in relation to God aand having to begin all over again every moment in eternal torment, yet without being able to begin, for if we are able to decide definitely with regard to the previous moment, and so further and further back.


Several authorities consider the work autobiographical. Jean-Paul Sartre took up Kierkegaard’s ideas in his book, Existentialism and Humanism like this:.

Whenever grief finds repose, then will its inner essence gradually work its way out, becoming visible externally, and thus also subject to artistic representation. Fear and Trembling p. The Merman is a seducer, but when he has won Agnes’ love he is so moved by it that he wants to belong to her entirely.

Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard | : Books

If this does not happen, if the movement is halted, if it is repressed, then depression sets in. Kierkegaard says, “By my own strength I cannot get the least little thing that belongs to finitude, for I continually use my strength to resign everything. Right of insight into habnay good is different from right of insight with regard to action as such. Freedom consists in using that choice.

Fear and Trembling

The story of the princess and of Agnes and the merman can be interpreted autobiographically. We then recognized the state as the moral whole and the reality of freedom, and consequently as the objective unity of these two elements. Kierkegaard steers the reader to Hegel’s book Elements of the Philosophy of Right especially the chapter on “The Good and Conscience ” where he writes, “It is the right of the subjective will that it should regard as good what it recognizes as authoritative.

For the film, see Fear and Trembling film. There was many a father who had had that loss, but since it was always, after all, God’s almighty and inscrutable governance, since it was God who personally obliterated, as it were, the promise given, he was obliged to say with Job: A son murders his father, but not until later does he learn that it was his father. Croxall, Pantheon Books p. Kierkegaard is the godfather of Existentialism.


He sees himself encumbered with an enormous mass of concerns; everyone else smiles at him and sees nothing. Doubt is again set in motion, tremvling again aroused; let us try to calm it zlastair deliberating on: Hence, if it is right to absorb right and duty into subjectivity, it is on the other hand wrong if this abstract basis of action is not again evolved. The difference, then, is not the external but the internal, and everything that makes a person impure and his observation impure comes from within.

Whoso will act in this actual world has thereby submitted to its laws, and recognized the right of objectivity. Kierkegaard says, “wishing to be in the wrong is an expression of an infinite relationship, and wanting to be alastalr the right, or finding it painful to be in the wrong, is an expression of a finite relationship! Abraham hid everything he did. Only in times when reality is a hollow, unspiritual, and shadowy existence, can a retreat be permitted out of the actual into an inner life.

Reason recoils before the absolute paradox of the individual who chooses to rise superior to the general law.