Kierkegaard’s Christianization of Pyrrhonism
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Almost two hundred years lie between Pascal and Kierkegaard. During this period, modern metaphysics unfolds from Descartes (Pascal’s contemporary) to Spinoza to Kant to Hegel to the neo-Hegelians (Kierkegaard’s contemporaries). The different intellectual environments of Pascal and Kierkegaard are thus remarkable. Scepticism was a strong and influential intellectual movement in Paris in Pascal’s time. But Kierkegaard’s Copenhagen was a center of Hegelianism. Danish neo-Hegelians were enthusiastically working on, as Kierkegaard ironically puts it, the final paragraphs of the system (CUP, 97–99). Kierkegaard was witness to one of the most pretentious dogmatic projects ever attempted in Western philosophy. Whereas the sceptics around Pascal argue that human beings can achieve no certain knowledge, Kierkegaard compares knowledge with food, saying of his contemporary philosophers that they have so much in their mouths that starvation can be avoided only by removing some of the excess, a task that Kierkegaard takes upon himself.1
KeywordsModern Philosophy Christian Faith Intellectual Integrity Biblical Criticism Objective Uncertainty
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