Kierkegaard is often misunderstood to be speaking of every individual human being. The misunderstanding arises because he talks about the “individual”, for example, he even has an essay called “the crowd is untruth”.
Yet another mistaken idea of his that is often used by born again Christians to reify their faith, is his talk about “the contemporary”.
I decided I would try to give a more tangible example of what he’s really saying by using math.
For every philosophical proposal a, two conditions arise to the individual thinker as to classification:
Open or closed: 1/10,000
– Philosophy for the closed group means the potential for any kind of thinking.
For the open group:
Interested or not interested : 1/10,000.
– Philosophy for the not interested group means a potential for a particular kind of thinking.
For the interested:
Not Invested or invested: 1/10,000.
– Philosophy for the invested means a particular professional skill or adherence to a proper method for truth.
So, the chances of an open interest, non invested Philosophy is (if anyone knows about statistics perhaps you can correct my layman mathematical art, lol):
1/10000 x 1/10000 x 1/10000 =
0.0000000001 percent of the population at any time for any philosophical proposal will understand it.
The present population of the planet earth is:
Thus, for any philosophical proposal at any time, less than seven people will understand it.
Yet, if you take the number of people cumulative since Kierkegaard, say for example, then we have a different kind of dynamic because then we have to account for “any moment”.
At some point in the future of Kierkegaard there will become such a saturation of those who would understand what he is saying that in fact what he is saying will become “untrue” by virtue of the fact that the crowd, then, will be understanding “what is true”.
The absurdity involved in these two equations in an effort to reduce to some sensible understanding of Kierkegaard to all the individuals of the human race, thereby shows that there is no reconciliation in these two manners.
And that this is the irony of the situation as described by the master of irony himself.