I think Kierkegaard would be horrifed if he knew that a person two hundred years after his birth was writing about him on the internet. The totality of Kierkegaard’s philosophical thought is that one must find the answer that is true for me by acting upon it. (I am no philosopher so tell me if I am mistaken!) I always feel like I am simply adding to the “idle chatter” that is social media.
But I found this article interesting: Is Kierkegaard Still Relevant Today? As an aside, we used to live in a very small country town, hours from anywhere. The local shops stocked Philosophy Now while our suburban middle class shops only do lotto tickets and the like. Different market?!
Anyway, the article finishes with this paragraph:
Kierkegaard does not present us with absolute, objective truths, but challenges us to discover subjective truths for ourselves. He proposes to encourage us to become independent: “The phrase ‘know yourself’ means: separate yourself from the other” (The Concept of Irony, 1841, trans H.V. Hong and E.H. Hong, p.177, 1989). In the end, what Kierkegaard does is dare us to live, by choosing how we live, and by taking responsibility for our lives. Can we rise to his expectations?
I really like the quote: “separate yourself from the other”. No sense running with the crowd going in the wrong direction. But for me it has further implications. I do not speak on behalf of a school of thought, a religious party, or a political movement. I have no authority other than that of speaking for me. And I am the only person responsible for my actions (and speech). That does not mean that “truth” does not exist or is created by me. It simply means that I cannot hang on to the shirt-tails of a movement and except to go in the right direction for me.
I have become more aware that I am simply hiding in the crowd to avoid facing myself. Other people can journey with you but they cannot journey for you.
So maybe the post should really be called “me today”?