Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

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Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments
Author Søren Kierkegaard
Original title Afsluttende uvidenskabelig Efterskrift til de philosophiske Smuler
Translator Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, Alastair Hannay
Country Denmark
Language Danish
Series First authorship (Pseudonymous)
Genre Philosophy
Publisher University bookshop Reitzel, Copenhagen
Publication date
1846
Pages 630 (Hong translation)

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 a poignant attack against Hegelianism, the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel. The work is also famous for its dictum, Subjectivity is Truth. It was an attack on what Kierkegaard saw as Hegel's deterministic philosophy. Against Hegel's system, Kierkegaard is often interpreted as taking the side of metaphysical libertarianism or freewill, though it has been argued that an incompatibilist conception of free will is not essential to Kierkegaard's formulation of existentialism.

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.

Contrasts in Concluding Unscientific Postscript[edit]

Objectivity Subjectivity
Objective truth is that which relates to propositions, that which has no relation to the existence of the knower. History, science, and speculative philosophy all deal with objective knowledge. According to Climacus, all objective knowledge is subject to doubt. Focuses on what is asserted. Subjective truth is essential or ethico-religious truth. It is not composed of propositions or perceptions of the external world, but of introspection, experiences, and especially one's relationship with God.
Direct communication consists of statements that can be communicated and understood without appropriation, that is, without experiencing personally what is being communicated. Objective knowledge can be communicated directly. Indirect communication requires appropriation on the part of the receiver. The receiver must experience or have experienced what is being communicated, not just hear it.

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