What are We Trying to Accomplish: the second question.

“Why are philosophers always starting in the middle?”

This is another question Kierkegaard poses.

Actually, he doesn’t phrase it as a question, but rather indicts “hypocrites” for asserting they starting at the beginning while implicitly beginning in the middle.

He indicts this mode of thought through argument because it betrays an invested trust that others have for their own Being. Starting in the middle yet arguing that it is the beginning creates a condition where people begin to think that they naturally are also starting at the beginning. Ethics is the condtion of starting ones journey in the middle.

Kierkegaard calls this condition by a number of terms through out his works.



Knight of infinite resignation

To name three,

But also implies it everywhere, from the genius to the seducer, the lover, the judge.

His works can be understood to be case studies of various types of situations where people start in the middle. Often, though, his point goes ironically to how the beginning is implied, but how the state of being is the ignorance of their beginningness.

Here, then, is where Sartre picks up some 100 maybe years later with “bad faith”.


The authentic question for the modern individual is exactly “What am I trying to accomplish?”

And this is a holistic question of totality. For, sin is to despair to will to be oneself.

At least, that is the most basic of the forms Kierkegaard poses.

To put it in other terms:

Reality is the place where people are in despair, in Ks sense. This despair, though, is merely a particular manner of knowing oneself; it is real (ethically universal) However, when one overcomes or otherwise understands the nature of existence (not merely human), then one no longer lives in despair but actually lives by virtue of the absurd, authentically, individualized, for the she has come upon what is true of the universe: its reality and its truth. (truly universal).


the Nonphilosophical unilateral duality thus is the true manner that knoweldege arises as knowldege ethically.

…and This is ironic.x






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