Problem 1: Is there such a thing as a teleological suspension of the ethical? In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard presents 3 problems for. The fourth chapter of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, Problem III, asks “Was Abraham ethically defensible in keeping silent about Posted by אני at PM. FEAR AND TREMBLING / PROBLEM III: Was Abraham ethically defensible in keeping silent about his purpose before Sarah, before Eleazar.

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But given the task as assigned to Abraham, he himself has to act; consequently, he has to know in the crucial moment what he himself will do, and consequently, he has to know that Isaac is going to be sacrificed.


How does this express a higher ethical ideal? Choice, according to this common-sense view, lies between good and evil. Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous works begin with a preface. Not only are his explanations easy to understand, but they often relate to biblical issues.

He sees himself encumbered with an enormous mass of concerns; everyone else smiles at him and sees nothing. Hong Princeton University Press p. But this joy was only in the moment of cognition and did not leave a deeper mark on me. According to Rudd, Kierkegaard wants readers to realize that an account of faith that is entirely incommunicable is implausible, and even if certain aspects of the Abraham story appear incommunicable, there is still “a kind of narrative intelligibility to them” Views Read Edit View history.

Back and forth it swings like a pendulum, and cannot come to rest.

Lectures on Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling | James Mensch –

Equally informed by Kierkegaard’s Works of Lovewe learn that hope has only to do with the eternal and that without love hope amounts to nothing. This article contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Choice, as the term is generally understood, is the act of giving preference to one among several possibilities or of deciding in favor of one or two alternatives.

My listener, there was many a father in Israel who believed that to lose his child was to lose everything that was dear to him, to be robbed of every hope for the future, but there was no one who was the child of promise in the sense Isaac was to Abraham.

Taylor, of Fordham University writes, “The Abrahamic God is the all-powerful Lord and Master who demands nothing less than the total obedience of his faithful servants. Kierkegaard says, “Hegelian philosophy culminates in the thesis that the outer is the inner and the inner is the outer. I invoke everything good for the system and for the Danish shareholders in this omnibus, for it will hardly become a tower.

Hence, it is upbuilding always to be in the wrong-because only the infinite builds up; the finite does not!

By saying that faith is the paradox and faith changes telos in a person is pretty much false, because all but one faith does nothing for the telos of a person.


A Reader’s Guideattends to the dilemma that either Abraham is a lost ans murderous person or his faith represents the paradox that the individual stands in a higher relationship to the absolute than the universal.

The ethical is what occurs everywhere and for everyone, and because of how it spreads throughout most population, there is an ethical telos. They give effect to a prior determination which underlies and guides them. Carlisle, author of Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling: He wrote, “If a person is sometimes in the right, sometimes in the wrong, to some degree in the right, trembilng some degree in the wrong, who, then, is the one who makes that decision except the person himself, but in the decision may he not again be to some degree in the right and to some degree in the wrong?

Faith is to him the highest actual passion, which, thrilled by the consciousness of sin and guiltappropriates to itself the rrembling in defiance of the understandingand from which all comprehension, all contemplation are excluded, as it is of a purely practical nature, a mere act of the will. On the other hand, by faith, says that marvelous knight, by faith you will get her by virtue of the absurd. We each have the right to speak or not to speak and the right to act or not to act.

Here Kierkegaard is using the story of Abraham to help himself understand his relationship with Regine Olsen.

When one thinks the ethical, would you not think that the ethical spreads universally? Kierkegaard would have done well to clearly explain this distinction.

But the person who has come to faith whether he is extraordinarily gifted or plain and simple does not matter does not come to a standstill in faith. Hegel fearr, “When I am conscious of my freedom as inner substantive reality, I do not act; yet if I do act and seek principles, I must try to obtain definite characters for my act.

But it is just problem useless for a man to want first of all to decide the externals and after that the fundamentals as it is for a cosmic body, thinking to form itself, first of all to decide the nature of its surface, to what snd it should turn its light, to which its dark side, without first letting the harmony of centrifugal and centripetal forces realize [realisere] its existence [Existents] and letting the rest come of itself.

Cultural Reader: Excellent summary of Fear and Trembling by Kierkegaard

Josiah Thompson wrote a biography of Kierkegaard’s life, and in it he said. Whoso will act in this actual world has thereby submitted to its laws, and recognized the right of objectivity.

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He dupes the listener; he calls the joy unutterable, and then a new surprise, a truly surprising surprise-he utters tremvling. I go as far as to say this because, the included information about Abraham, God, and the Virgin Mary take a back seat to the immediate solving of the problem, and the establishment of what that paradoxical faith really problena, is not really a part of the answer, as it was answered trebmling Soren Kierkegaard.


No one could know about it except herself, and yet it rested upon her with an alarming weight. Overall, readers of this volume will be treated to subtle and sophisticated readings of Kierkegaard’s most challenging text, but they should not expect the variety of interpretations to remove the opacity from Abraham, for his “indefinitely indeterminate status” remains intact.

Whether there are also many in our day who do not find it, I do not decide. If an agnostic read this problem, and had no idea as to what god saves a person, they would be lead to believe that any faith would change their teleological doom. In his necessary reliance on the dear of concepts to tell the story, the exegete cannot aspire to the uniqueness of Abraham’s condition. Email required Address amd made public. The Christian including Kierkegaard, and myself, claims that the only faith that changes the telos is the Christian faith that gives their life to God, and worships Him constantly.

A related, but contrasting view is found in “Birth, love, and hybridity: Kierkegaard says, “If Agamemnon himself, not Calchasshould have drawn the knife to kill Iphigenia, he would only have demeaned himself if in the very last moment he had said a few words, for the meaning of his deed was, after all, obvious to everybody, the process of reverence, sympathy, emotion, and tears was completed, and then, too, his life had no relation to spirit-that is, he was not a teacher or a witness of the spirit.

Kierkegaard and his modern followers entertain an altogether different idea of choice. When one has a dream he can tell it, it was real, and yet when she wished to speak of it and relieve her troubled mind, there was nothing to tell. A hundred pages later he ends on a similarly commercial note: Once again the answer is yes, but in order to reach it Kierkegaard goes through a profound philosophical and literary analysis of ethics.

As immediate spirit, a person is bound up with all the earthly life, and now spirit wants to gather itself together out of this dispersion, so to speak, and to transfigure itself in itself; the personality wants to become conscious in its eternal validity.

Mooney and Lloyd explore these and related themes in comparison to Plato’s Symposiumshowing the hybridity at play in both Kierkegaard and Plato and offering us a rich alternative view of philosophy. Whenever grief finds repose, then will its inner essence gradually work its way out, becoming visible externally, and thus also subject to artistic representation.