The philosopher and the reader: Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein on love and philosophical method

Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    In his diaries from the beginning of the 1930s, Ludwig Wittgenstein comments extensively both on Søren Kierkegaard's view of philosophical method and on his view of love. The aim of this article is to show how Wittgenstein's reflections on Kierkegaard's view of love reveal a fundamental difference between the two thinkers' views of philosophical method, a difference in their view of the role of the reader of and partner in doing philosophy, between Kierkegaard's indirect communication to the reader and Wittgenstein's dialogical engagement with the reader. The article opens with a presentation of substantial similarities between Wittgenstein's and Kierkegaard's conceptions of philosophy. After this, I present an account of Kierkegaard's view of love and marriage, an understanding of which is necessary in order to understand Wittgenstein's reservations towards Kierkegaard. This in turn leads me to the main investigation that shows how a difference in Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein's views on love connects to a fundamental difference in their views of philosophy. This difference between the two thinkers will finally be elucidated through the understanding of love developed by Stanley Cavell in his work on the so‐called Hollywood remarriage comedies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)876-891
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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