Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments
Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Fragments (Danish: Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift til de philosophiske Smuler) is a major work by Søren Kierkegaard. The work is poignant attack against Hegelianism, the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The work is also famous for its dictum, Subjectivity is Truth.
As the title suggests, the Postscript is sequel to the earlier Philosophical Fragments. The title of the work is ironic because the Postscript is almost five times larger than the Fragments. The Postscript credits Johannes Climacus as the author and Kierkegaard as its editor. Like his other pseudonymous works, the Postscript is not a reflection of Kierkegaard's own beliefs. However, unlike his other pseudonymous works, Kierkegaard attaches his name as editor to this work, showing the importance of the Postscript to Kierkegaard's overall authorship.
Preface & Part One
- Can a historical point of departure be given for an eternal consciousness; how can such a point of departure be of more than historical interest; can an eternal happiness be built on historical knowledge?
- The issue is not about the truth of Christianity but about the individual's relation to Christianity...
- Simply stated: How can I, Johannes Climacus, share in the happiness that Christianity promises?
- The subjective existing thinker is aware of the dialectic of communication.
- He wants to convince [others] that he is not a lunatic and therefore paces up and down the floor and continually says, "Boom! The Earth is round!". But is the earth not round? ... is he a lunatic, the man who hopes to prove that he is not a lunatic by stating a truth universally accepted and universally regarded as objective?
- The objective way deems itself to have a security which the subjective way does not have (and, of course, existence and existing cannot be thought in combination with objective security); it thinks to escape a danger which threatens the subjective way and this danger is at its maximum: madness. In a merely subjective determination of the truth, madness and truth become in the last analysis indistinguishable.
- God does not think, he creates; God does not exist, he is eternal.
- Irony is the cultivation of the spirit and therefore follows next after immediacy; then comes the ethicist, then the humourist, then the religious person.
- Subjectivity is Truth.
- Truth is subjectivity.
- It is subjectivity that Christianity is concerned with, and it is only in subjectivity that its truth exists, if it exists at all; objectively, Christianity has no existence.
- If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast the objective uncertainty, so as to remain out upon the deep, over seventy fathoms of water still preserving my faith.