Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Kierkegaard's Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy - short summary

At the core of Kierkegaard's work is the rejection of systematized, logical thought as an adequate guide to life and meaning. His chief target was Hegel, whose philosophical system was seen by many in the mid-nineteenth century as able to explain virtually everything.

1. On Hegel’s Absolute Mind
1.1.  Hegel believed that the structure of the universe is at the same as the structure of God’s mind (Absolute mind), so if one reaches an ultimate understanding of logical structure of the world or universe one has simultaneously reached an ultimate understanding of the logical structure of God’s mind. 
1.2. Kierkegaard vigorously attacks Hegel’s belief in the supremacy of the rational mind by pointing out the fact that our mortal nature places limits on our understanding of reality. 

2. On Hegel’s Dialectical Method
3.1Instead of Hegel’s dialectical approach to knowledge which effectively means embracing opposing positions and bringing them together and Hegel’s stress on the dominance of reason and philosophy, Kierkegaard substituted the disjunction ‘Either/Or’ and the primacy of faith over reason. 
3.2  Kierkegaard argued that the ‘movement’ in the synthesis is not explained. If the synthesis is fully contained in the thesis and antithesis, then the synthesis is no real progression at all. On the other hand, if there is something new in the synthesis, then the movement is not strictly rational, as something new must have been introduced that was not contained in the original pairing. 
3.3  Thus, there are logical gaps in the system. And the gaps can only be breached by a leap of faith.

Some books to check out: