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Kierkegaard For Beginners (For Beginners) [Paperback]

By Donald D. Palmer (Author) & Donald D. Palmer (Illustrator)
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Item description for Kierkegaard For Beginners (For Beginners) by Donald D. Palmer...

Through text and images, this book introduces readers to Soren Kierkegaard, whose attack on social and religious complacency and traditional Western philosophy in the 19th century generated a crisis that produced a radically new way of thinking and made him founder of the school of existentialism. This is a valuable introduction to the man and his work. Illustrations.

Publishers Description
Philosophically, Søren Kierkegaard was the “bridge” that led from Hegel to Existentialism. Kierkegaard abhorred Hegel's abstract, know-it-all idealism that tried to capture reality in a few words. Kierkegaard's attack on social and religious complacency and his single-handed assault on traditional Western philosophy generated a crisis that produced a radically new way of philosophizing and made him the founder of the school that would later be called Existentialism. To Kierkegaard, reality was personal, subjective–it began and ended with the individual–and philosophy was not something one merely talked about, it was the way you lived. Kierkegaard For Beginners explains, plainly and simply, the great Danish thinker's obsession with the particularity of human existence as well as his demonstration of how the creation of an authentic new kind of individual is possible.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   150
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 21, 2007
Publisher   For Beginners
ISBN  1934389145  
ISBN13  9781934389140  

Availability  0 units.

More About Donald D. Palmer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Donald Palmer is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the college of Marin in Kentfield, California. Currently he is visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is also author of:
"Sartre for Beginners
Structuralism and Poststructuralism For Beginners
Looking at Philosophy," Mayfield Publishing Co.
"Does the Center Hold?," Mayfield Publishing Co.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy > History & Surveys
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > History & Surveys
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > Existentialism

Reviews - What do customers think about Kierkegaard For Beginners (For Beginners)?

Throw this review down  Sep 3, 2008
Kierkegaard is so paradoxical and self-contradictary that he defies most attempts at comprehension. We are (or I am) left wondering whether we are just too stupid to understand such brilliant insights. Another Danish writer comes to mind, who wrote a simple story about an emperor and his clothes.
Even after reading this book, my understanding was so little advanced that I suggest anyone whose intellect is as limited as mine would be just as well off reading the original writings. I am in total awe and can only endorse the praise offered by Woody Allen, quoted on page 65.
Amusing, thoughtful summary  Jul 3, 2008
Amusing, thoughtful summary of Kierkegaard's major tenets. I love images and the cartoons are just the thing to help the author get Kierkegaard's point across. Neither the text nor the cartoons are trite but are right to the point.
Comprehensible  Sep 25, 2006
Written with humor and very concisely. I love the pictures (comics) Donald Palmer did a great job of introducing Kierkegaard and his philosophy to the masses.
Amazingly Accurate and Fun Portrayal for the Beginner  May 28, 2006
Author/illustrator Palmer brings out Kierkegaard's brilliance in a way accessible to all, simply conveying the complexity of Kierkegaard the person and Kierkegaard the writings while providing a continuous laugh fitting for SK's own serio-comic ironic style. Kierkegaard's the epitome of epigrammatic writing and living, a zealous genius misrepresented by both secularist existentialists as well as respected Christian theologians/teachers who wrongly accuse SK of throwing out objective Christian truth, when really SK's subjectivity IS the evangelical truth of personal relationship with God, not mere external religious tradition. As for the comics in this book, they (as is SK) are HILarious, though probably more so because of the Bible allusions. This book contains a glossary and bibliography, and after this SK intro I'd recommend 'The Essential Kierkegaard' by the editors Hong, then skipping 'Concept of Irony' and starting with 'Either/Or' reading thru the rest of SK's books, which from the outset were written on 2 parallel tracks, one being pseudonymous works (from which it is unfair to attribute quotes to SK) and the other being signed works. P.S.--it's ironic that SK is now associated with the existentialist all-about-self-and-living-in-the-moment philosophies when SK lived so dead to self (his name even means 'graveyard') and with vision, methodically poured himself out in a planned series of books so that his readers entrapped in dead state church religiosity might become aware that they're dead and need to get a life (a self).
Digestible Kierkegaard for Postmodern People  Feb 16, 2006
Few initially realize that the aesthetic slug which Kierkegaard often decried was he himself. Kierkegaard stuggled with determining, or rather willing, who he would be as a man in books like Either/Or. All of this is what makes him so relevant for postmoderns, existentialism students and even for card-carrying religionists.

The format of the For Beginners series is very inviting and helps make the subject matter less daunting and far from boring, which is the point, and a good reason to use this series' versions whenever getting to know a thinker for the first time. You will get a broad overview of the person's career without getting bogged down too quickly in any one particular life phase. Once you see what it is you appreciate in the career timeline, you can more easily zero in on that selection of books and go from there.

Kierkegaard For Beginners covers the Either/Or argument, the felial Abraham sacrifice delimma and explores Soren's own Christian commitment in a way that will charm and attract even nonchristians as it did me. His inspired figure of the "Knight of Faith" is a fascinating hook and resolves his existentialist concerns heroically.

At the bottom of his writing is the need to account for and deal productively with the bitter anxiety bedrock of the human psyche, and how to resolve that energy and bring it into a sort of freeing self-affirmation by resolving one's will on the issues on which it brings anxiety to bear (thus the "Either/Or" theme elsewhere in title by same name). The comical critique of this is "which breakfast cereal ought I to eat today?!" but the practical application is more in line with "should I renounce playing bridge with the back-stabbing cretins at the moose lodge and take up philosophy/working with kids/see Tibet.") The concern is on changing those things that make one anxious so that they no longer cause anxiety. This said, there is a positive spin on anxiety as the doorbell that "God" rings when he is ready to visit. The feeling of dread, thus, is the threshold over which one comes into contact again with the Divine or whatever makes your life unquestionably, profoundly worthwhile.

This book, as typically the series does, makes the full nature of the life and work roughly, excitingly intelligible in the space of about an hour. No small feat. Definite MUST for Kierkegaard beginners.


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