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The Potential Role of Art in Kierkegaard’s Description of the Individual 

  • Date Submitted: 02/24/2013 06:11 PM
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The Potential Role of Art in Kierkegaard’s Description of the Individual 
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Description
Kierkegaard scholarship has generally focused on either existential or religious issues, interpreting Kierkegaard’s understanding of the individual’s relationship to itself and to the Christian God. As a result of his description of the stages of development of the individual in the process of that relationship, such scholarship has consistently ignored the inherent potential to articulate an aesthetic system which would describe art as a means of facilitating the development in a positive direction. 

This book offers the first thorough description of a Kierkegaardian aesthetic which does not demote art to a merely sensuous and negative influence; it is an explication of the specific feature of Kierkegaard’s description of the individual (such as communication, repetition, and the self) within the context of a positive notion of art, as well as an analysis of art itself, the artist, and the fundamental value of art as a profitable means of influencing the individuals. While this book is unique for placing art into a central role within Kierkegaard scholarship, it also remains critical of such a role, maintaining the importance of recognizing the limitations which art has. The final result is that art emerges as a means of communication which urges the individual on towards a better relationship with the actual, as represented by the Christian god, but which also finds its fullest value in its inadequacy in the confrontation with the ideal. 
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Reviews
“One thing surely absent from many of today’s debates around art, both at the theoretical and practical levels, is some means of realigning notions of authorship and selfhood with the work of art itself. Kierkegaard’s approach offers one such proposition, and even if we may feel that times have radically changed and not all the...

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