Fear and Trembling Themes

Soren Kierkegaard
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The Teleological Suspension of the Ethical

The teleological suspension of the ethical is Kierkegaard’s primary means of distinguishing Abraham—the knight of faith—from the tragic hero and the knight of infinite resignation. It is also one of his most famous ideas and his chief contribution to philosophical discussions of religion. While it is explicitly discussed under the rubric of “Problema I” it permeates the entirety of the text and is a major motif to which Kierkegaard constantly refers in his interpretation of Abraham and the binding of Isaac.

For Kierkegaard, the ethical is synonymous with the universal. It is a well-established program or criterion for action that theoretically applies to all persons at all times and in all situations. It is also an immanent principle, meaning that it refers only to itself and that its aims and ends (its telos) do not go outside itself. On Kierkegaard...

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This section contains 1,804 words
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