Winter 1947 • Vol. IX No. 1 Kierkegaard |

The Philosophy

A thinker who hates the abstract complexity of metaphysical systems, yet whose thought is persistently, in fact systematically directed to working through a single all-important problem:—such a thinker's work should be relatively easy to summarize or evaluate. But Kierkegaard's one problem is so specifically religious in character, and so complex in its literary presentation (complex out of all proportion to its philosophic scope), that to assess it philosophically is a difficult task indeed. In the light of Kierkegaard's growing influence, however, the task must be attempted—and that despite the obvious fact that Kierkegaard himself would have considered it irrelevant and impossible. A philosophic as distinct from a literary or religious assessment? Fantastic! Any assessment by any one except that rare person Kierkegaard calls his reader (and I confess, thankfully I fear, I am not he)? Fantastic again! Yet one must try to make something of this apparently stimulating, certainly

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