The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin

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Princeton University Press, 1980 - Philosophy - 273 pages
6 Reviews

This edition replaces the earlier translation by Walter Lowrie that appeared under the title The Concept of Dread. Along with The Sickness unto Death, the work reflects from a psychological point of view Søren Kierkegaard's longstanding concern with the Socratic maxim, "Know yourself." His ontological view of the self as a synthesis of body, soul, and spirit has influenced philosophers such as Heidegger and Sartre, theologians such as Jaspers and Tillich, and psychologists such as Rollo May.

In The Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard describes the nature and forms of anxiety, placing the domain of anxiety within the mental-emotional states of human existence that precede the qualitative leap of faith to the spiritual state of Christianity. It is through anxiety that the self becomes aware of its dialectical relation between the finite and the infinite, the temporal and the eternal.

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The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Oriented Deliberation in View of the Dogmatic Problem of Hereditary Sin

User Review  - James Wetherbee - Book Verdict

A fresh translation of Kierkegaard's 1844 treatise is long overdue, and Hannay (emeritus, philosophy, Univ. of Oslo) is the best philosopher for the job, having provided well-received translations ... Read full review

Review: The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin

User Review  - Arnie - Goodreads

Interesting. I liked it, but all the while I was reading it I kept thinking of Regine Olsen. The concepts of choice, anxiety and freedom are explored heavily here but I couldn't help but see Regine's ... Read full review

About the author (1980)

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Søren Kierkegaard was the son of a wealthy middle-class merchant. He lived all his life on his inheritance, using it to finance his literary career. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, completing a master's thesis in 1841 on the topic of irony in Socrates. At about this time, he became engaged to a woman he loved, but he broke the engagement when he decided that God had destined him not to marry. The years 1841 to 1846 were a period of intense literary activity for Kierkegaard, in which he produced his "authorship," a series of writings of varying forms published under a series of fantastic pseudonyms. Parallel to these, he wrote a series of shorter Edifying Discourses, quasi-sermons published under his own name. As he later interpreted it in the posthumously published Point of View for My Work as an Author, the authorship was a systematic attempt to raise the question of what it means to be a Christian. Kierkegaard was persuaded that in his time people took the meaning of the Christian life for granted, allowing all kinds of worldly and pagan ways of thinking and living to pass for Christian. He applied this analysis especially to the speculative philosophy of German idealism. After 1846, Kierkegaard continued to write, publishing most works under his own name. Within Denmark he was isolated and often despised, a man whose writings had little impact in his own day or for a long time afterward. They were translated into German early in the twentieth century and have had an enormous influence since then, on both Christian theology and the existentialist tradition in philosophy.

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