Work in Progres.: Kierkegaard on Kierkegaard: The End of Stages on Life’s Way


This seems liKe Kierkegaard’s own message about how to read ‘“Guilty?”/”Not Guilty?”, and related texts.  The supposed author of ‘“Guilty?”/”Not Guilty?” is referred to now as a creation of Frater Tacturnus,i as a piece of psychological construction.  The apparent author of ‘“Guilty?”/”Not Guilty?” is referred to as Quidam, so as some one.  He appears to be a kind of no one and an everyman.  The Letter can be taken as Kierkegaard’s general letter to his readers in general.  It ties together various aspects of his thoughts going back to The Concept of Irony.  Both Ficthe and Tieck feature, with mention of I=I in relation to Fichte.  The Fichte and Tieck references establish a basis for all the pseudonyms, the uncertainty of identity and the unity of identity going back to the I’s relation with itself looks very pertinent to Kierkegaard’s personae.  The labyrinthine nature of the stories of the identity of these personae itself invokes Tieck.  Sympathy and Egoism feature strongly in Frater Taciturnus’s account of ‘“Guilty?”/”Not Guilty?”.  They are complicit, so we can see Quidam’s sympathy for his ex-fiancée as evidence of egotism.  His relation to her appears to be too egotistical because too aesthetic, even though containing sympathy. Quidam is implicitly contrasted with Socrates and Socrates’ relationship with Xanthippe.  That is part of Socrates’s ethical character and is an ethical relation   There is a lack of a genuine ethical and religious relationship with the girl.  Frater Taciturnus describes three kinds of sophistry, so taking his position with Plato possibly, if we think of Plato as the first great critic of sophistry. The Sophisms refer to moving to religion to quickly from: the aesthetic, the ethical, the metaphysical.  The discussion of sophistries is tied up with the discussion of paradoxes.  The sophisms may be a product of failure to grasp the paradoxes clearly  The claims to access to religion from the individual are an attempt to ignore the problem.  The aesthetic  turns the girl into an object and leads to enthusiasm.  The rejections of the aesthetic, ethical and metaphysical as may lead us to the ‘dogmatic’ as Kierkegaard suggests in The Concept of Anxiety.   This text contains many references to the Danish context particularly towards its end.  Kierkegaard refers to the supposed difficulties of being a writer in Denmark and of being unread.  Or at least only read at the beginning.  So the Letter is sent to people who have not read that passage.  One the other hand, Kierkegaard pays tribute to the benefits of Danish country side and the Danish language.   Financial loss is apparently involved in being a writer in Denmark.  The Letter maybe offers a critique of sympathy based ethics following on from Fear and Trembling.  There it is suggested that Richard III in Shakespeare play manipulate sympathy, and Is part of his daemonic nature.  The implication is that sympathy is where there is a lack of  a relationship and therefore more of  an interest in one ‘s own reaction to the suffering of others.  


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