Eternal Happiness by Way of Subjective Reflection

Topics: Ontology, Truth, Søren Kierkegaard Pages: 3 (772 words) Published: December 6, 2005
Eternal Happiness By Way of Subjective Reflection
Climacus commends the way of subjective reflection over the way of objective reflection to the person who is interested in obtaining eternal happiness because, for the existing individual, it is the only way to do so.

This paper will deal with the claim that eternal happiness can be obtained by way of subjective reflection, rather than objective reflection, which is found in Soren Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript To Philosophical Fragments. Writing under the pseudonym of Johannes Climacus, Kierkegaard discusses how eternal happiness can be achieved. Climacus' unique position and emphasis on the human being as an existing individual leads to his subjective basis for truth. I will begin by clarifying the terms Climacus uses in his argument, and then go on to defend his commendation of subjective reflection over objective reflection.

Before I attend to Climacus' claim, I want to address some of the important background information, from which his claim follows. Climacus describes himself as an ordinary man and states that he is interested in how one obtains the eternal happiness that Christianity promises. He proposes that there is a dual existence to truth. Truth can be viewed as both objective and subjective. The term "objective" deals with the dispassionate and the knowledge that the single individual can gain about the world. For Climacus, the objective question is about the truth of Christianity. The term "subjective," on the other hand, deals with the passionate and personal way to knowledge. The subjective question, then, is about the individual's relation to Christianity (p. 16-17).

According to Climacus, the individual can think about truth in two ways- by way of subjective reflection and by way of objective reflection. Climacus writes, "To objective reflection, truth becomes something objective, an object, and the point is to disregard the subject. To subjective...
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