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Book Title: Concept of Dread|
Date of issue: 1973
ISBN 13: 9780691019512
The author of the book: Søren Kierkegaard
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 969 KB
Edition: Princeton University Press
Read full description of the books Concept of Dread:Begrebet Angest ("The Concept of Anxiety", "The Concept of Dread", or "The Concept of Angst") is a philosophical work written by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1844.
For Kierkegaard (writing as a pseudonymous author, Vigilius Haufniensis), anxiety/dread/angst is unfocused fear. Kierkegaard uses the example of a man standing on the edge of a tall building or cliff. When the man looks over the edge, he experiences a focused fear of falling, but at the same time, the man feels a terrifying impulse to throw himself intentionally off the edge. That experience is anxiety or dread because of our complete freedom to choose to either throw oneself off or to stay put. The mere fact that one has the possibility and freedom to do something, even the most terrifying of possibilities, triggers immense feelings of dread. Kierkegaard called this our "dizziness of freedom."
Kierkegaard focuses on the first anxiety experienced by man: Adam's choice to eat from God's forbidden tree of knowledge or not. Since the concepts of good and evil did not come into existence before Adam ate the fruit, which is now dubbed original sin, Adam had no concept of good and evil, and did not know that eating from the tree was "evil." What he did know was that God told him not to eat from the tree. The anxiety comes from the fact that God's prohibition itself implies that Adam is free and that he could choose to obey God or not. After Adam ate from the tree, sin was born. So, according to Kierkegaard, anxiety precedes sin, and it is anxiety that leads Adam to sin. Kierkegaard mentions that anxiety is the presupposition for hereditary sin.
However, Kierkegaard mentions that anxiety is a way for humanity to be saved as well. Anxiety informs us of our choices, our self-awareness and personal responsibility, and brings us from a state of un-self-conscious immediacy to self-conscious reflection. (Jean-Paul Sartre calls these terms pre-reflective consciousness and reflective consciousness.) An individual becomes truly aware of their potential through the experience of anxiety. So, anxiety may be a possibility for sin, but anxiety can also be a recognition or realization of one's true identity and freedoms.
Read information about the authorSøren Aabye Kierkegaard was a prolific 19th century Danish philosopher and theologian. Kierkegaard strongly criticised both the Hegelianism of his time and what he saw as the empty formalities of the Church of Denmark. Much of his work deals with religious themes such as faith in God, the institution of the Christian Church, Christian ethics and theology, and the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices. His early work was written under various pseudonyms who present their own distinctive viewpoints in a complex dialogue.
Kierkegaard left the task of discovering the meaning of his works to the reader, because "the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted".Scholars have interpreted Kierkegaard variously as an existentialist, neo-orthodoxist, postmodernist, humanist, and individualist.
Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, he is an influential figure in contemporary thought.
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