Sören Kierkegaard (1813–1855)
“The Sickness unto Death: A Christian Psychological Exposition for Upbuilding and Awakening”
Translated from the Danish by Walter Lowrie (1868–1959).
Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1941.
The “sickness unto death” of the title, is despair. Kierkegaard (under the pseudonym ‘Anti-Climacus’) analyses the causes of despair (Angst) and notes:
“The greatest danger, that of losing one’s own self, may pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, that of an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc., is sure to be noticed.”
For Kierkegaard, autonomy is possible only via direct accountability to God.
This work greatly influenced later existentialist philosophers.
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