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This volume is a study of the relationship between philosophy and faith in Søren Kierkegaard’s Philosophical Fragments. It is also the first book to examine the role of Socrates in this body of writings and it illuminates the significance of Socrates for Kierkegaard’s thought in general. Jacob Howland argues that in the Fragments, philosophy and faith are closely related passions. A careful examination of the role of Socrates in Fragments demonstrates that Socratic, philosophical eros opens up a path to faith. At the same time, the work of faith-- which holds the self together with that which transcends it, the finite with the infinite, and one’s life in time with eternity—is essentially erotic in the Socratic sense of the term. Chapters on Kierkegaard’s Johannes Climacus and on Plato’s Apology and related dialogues shed light on the Socratic character of the pseudonymous author of the Fragments and the role of “the god” in Socrates’ pursuit of wisdom. Howland also analyzes the Concluding Unscientific Postscript and Kierkegaard’s reflections on Socrates and Christ in his unpublished papers.Read more
- The first full-length study of the role of Socrates in the Philosophical Fragments
- Establishes the critical importance of Socrates in Kierkegaard's understanding of philosophy and faith
- Written in a clear and engaging style
Reviews & endorsements
"...up until Jacob Howland's fine monograph, no one has written, at least in English, a study specifically devoted to Kierkegaard's attitude towards Socrates. What immediately emerges from this book is how differently Socrates influenced Kierkegaard than he did Plato."
--Edward T. Oaks, S.J., First ThingsSee more reviews
"Kierkegaard and Socrates is written in a lucid and engaging manner. I will be of interest to those seeking to make sense of one of the most important of Kierkegaard's texts, scholars interested in the Socrates of Plato's dialogues, and anyone concerned with the relationship between philosophy and faith."
--Jamie Turnbull, University of Hertfordshire, Journal of the History of Philosophy
"...An important, original, and incisive contribution to Kierkegaard scholarship. Howland's work has defeated, one hopes for all time, the lamentably common misreading of Fragments as an anti-philosophical work of Christian apologetics...challenges us all to rethink our assumptions about the relation between philosophy and faith in Kierkegaard's thought."
--David D. Possen, Review of Politics
"Howland makes a real contribution to Kierkegaard scholarship by showing the affinities between the philosophy of Socrates and the Socratic-Christian faith espoused in one corner of Kierkegaard's writing...it should satisfy a great many readers seeking a better understanding of Kierkegaardian faith. And for a scholar of Plato to make an illuminating venture into the study of Soren Kierkegaard..."
--Jonathan Malesic, King's College: Modern Theology
"...Howland's book is very well-written. It is a pleasure to read, clear and well-argued, even stylish in some respects. The book not only gives a new perspective on Kierkegaard, but offers new insights into Plato/Socrates as well as a result of seeing the parallels with Kierkegaard. Most importantly, Howland helps us think in a new and original way about perennial questions: What is the relation of faith to reason? How is philosophy related to revelation? It can thus be read with profit by those interested in Kierkegaard, Socrates, Plato, and anyone interested in basic issues in the philosophy of religion."
--C. Stephen Evans, Baylor University, The Review of Metaphysics
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- Date Published: April 2006
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521862035
- length: 248 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Johannes Climacus, Socratic philosopher
2. Climacus's thought-project
3. Platonic interlude: Eros and the God
4. Climacus's poetical venture
5. The paradox and the passion of thought
6. Self-love and offense
7. Faith and the contemporary follower
8. Climacan interlude: on historical necessity
9. The follower at second hand and the moral
10. Socrates in postscript
11. Kierkegaard on Christ and Socrates.
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