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The Nature of Love in the Philosophy of Kierkegaard - Term Paper Example

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The Nature of Love in the Philosophy of Kierkegaard

Nevertheless, an accumulator of romantic and dutiful forms of love is Christian love. The way Kierkegaard develops his vision of different forms of love is illustrated by his quotations. Providing an in-depth analysis of the quotes, we’ll make an attempt to penetrate into the depth of the nature of love, following one of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, Soren Kierkegaard. Romantic love The basis for discussion about romantic love was found by Kierkegaard in Plato’s Symposium. Plato presents mainly a male perspective on love, because there is more letters by Johannes to Cordelia. There are only three of them written by Cordelia to him in the preamble to “The Seducer’s Diary” under the male pseudonym “A” (Collins, 1953). An interesting character of the reflective seducer shows to the readers, that it is much more interesting to live and perceive love in possibility and not in actuality. This man is involved into interesting modeling of reflections and different modes of action. There is an interesting myriad of psychological states and having travelled across different moods it is only possible to perceive one or another thing or phenomenon. Thus, this character is an intermediary taster of different forms and aspects of love. He cannot experience it to the fullest extent, because of his unachieved selfhood, but on the other hand he cannot perceive all aspects of Christian love, because this form of love is too elevated for him. In this work Kierkegaard differentiates romantic love from Christian love. In his further work this differentiation remains, but there can be seen transformations and correlations between these types of love, which will be presented further on (Collins, 1953). Thus, it is surely claimed in this work that Christian and erotic love is incompatible. There is no sensuousness in Christian love [Sandseligheden], which is the integrative part of erotic love (Kierkegaard SV1 I 44; KW III 61 cited from Collins, 1953). In other words, erotic love is selfish and Christian love is selfless. The oppositions between Christian and romantic love is shown on two different levels: the aesthetic and the ethical ones. There is a perfect example illustrating the way Kierkegaard differs between ethic and aesthetical aspects in marriage and in one’s individuality. Wilhelm claims that: the ethical is a restricted civic virtue restricted and it is not a divine goodness. Eros and divine virtue are two parallels, which can never meet. Kierkegaard clearly differentiates between aesthetic and ethical issues: aesthetic reflections are selfish and individual, while reflections of ethical concerns are open for community, is full of transparency. An aestheticist is prevented from love perception to the fullest extent. He is a selfish individual and love is ad ipsum (or “for himself”). Further reflection of aesthetic perspective on romantic love can be seen in the central claim that romantic love is immediate and it is nothing more than an instantaneous desire. Moreover, love is not natural necessity or a result of reflective action or thoughts; beauty, instantaneous emotions are triggers of romantic love. In such a way, we can see that Kierkegaard focuses our attention on not very deep nature of romantic low. It is hollow and momentous. It is the first stair of the spiral stairs (Collins, 1953). Dutiful love There is a difference also between love in marriage and ...Show more


Philosophy of Kierkegaard is a great value for all people. It opens our eyes on the greatest feeling of the world, on Love. Kierkegaard interprets this powerful phenomenon, describes its aspects and issues and correlates its forms…
Author : bernhardmadelyn
The Nature of Love in the Philosophy of Kierkegaard essay example
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