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  1. So we've come to the Danish philosopher-prophet (oh, no, he didn't consider himself a” philosopher”!) – as befits a Prophet, “a little out of sorts”, the forerunner of existential philosophy, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). In the poetic essay ” Repetition” (1843) Kierkegaard, through the mouth of one of his heroes, posed painful questions “ ” Where am I? What does it mean to say — peace? What is the meaning of this word? Who lured me here and left me here? Who am I? How did I end up in the world? Why wasn't I asked, why wasn't I introduced to its rules and customs, and just stuffed into it as if I was bought from a soul seller? How did I get involved in this huge enterprise called reality? Isn't it a matter of my choice? And who can I complain to?..” We've been used to this for a long time. And the 1840s (and later!) most even the most educated readers were convinced that our world rested on sound foundations and was probably, if not the best possible, at least not the worst. The mainstream of the” spirit ” of the 19th century (I am very rude, of course) is still rationalism and positivism, the legacy of the Enlightenment. Therefore, Kierkegaard's revelations seemed to most to be nothing more than the ravings of a madman. But Kierkegaard, of course, would not have become a “prophet” if he had been a “traditionally” philosophical theologian, a most respectable burgher, and a member of the Lutheran Church. He was a Christian writer and considered himself a kind of missionary whose mission was to bring the “life of the spirit” back into the domain of Christianity. Kierkegaard believed that the traditional churches of Europe had fallen away from true Christianity, which required personal sacrifice, risk, and a desire to suffer with the crucified Christ. Instead, the churches created a “religion of complacency and complacency” that identified the Christian religion with traditional moral virtues. Christianity, Kierkegaard believed, requires personal choice and commitment. In his opinion, rationalist theology, which comes from the spirit of Enlightenment, justified the ” domain of Christianity “because of its optimistic view of human nature and that”everything goes for the best in this best of worlds.” The” liberal ” Protestant theologians of the nineteenth century, like-minded and followers of Fr. Schleiermacher believed that people have a natural ability to know religious truth by themselves, and thus eliminated the need for historical Revelation as the basis of faith. This was the spirit of the Enlightenment in general. Kant, for example, was interested in ” religion within reason alone”, where the basic tenets of the Christian faith, a purely moral religion, were derived from the postulates of practical reason. Hegel justified the content of Christianity through a purely philosophical analysis and terminology. Although all these thinkers assigned a role to divine Revelation in history, the truth of any such Revelation was something that needed to be confirmed by the conclusions of critical reflection. Contrary to these views, Kierkegaard placed the dogmas of faith above the categories of reason and made them central to the understanding of religiosity. In “Fear and Trepidation” (1843) Kierkegaard sought to show that the life of faith represented for Christians and Jews (and we should add that for Muslims, too-T. L.) in the image of Abraham cannot be understood only in ethical terms, since Abraham's faith was revealed through an action that could not be justified ethically and rationally-namely, absolute submission to the will of God through the sacrifice of the son of Isaac. In The Philosopher's Crumbs (1844) Kierkegaard argued that the “Socratic” (i.e., rationalistic — T. L.) position about the ability of people to come to religious truth by their own reason is incompatible with the Christian doctrine of human sinfulness and that only God himself can save a person and grant him the truth. In The Final Unscientific Afterword to The Philosophical Crumbs (1846) Kierkegaard wrote that the Christian faith necessarily includes a kind of” subjectivity “or” passion ” that can never be the result of philosophical reflection. Through the whole “Afterword” runs a red thread criticism of Hegel's desire to achieve an absolute and complete understanding of reality. Kierkegaard spoke about the incompleteness and historicity of human existence, as well as about the powerlessness of reason to find “objective” truth in this matter. The Hegelian system, Kierkegaard believed, can have neither a beginning nor an end: it cannot really begin (as Hegel imagined it) without prerequisites, since a person is initially “in a situation”, “in the world”, and he is extremely concerned with his existence. Human existence, on the other hand, cannot be completely complete, whereas the “system” requires completeness. Kierkegaard declared that our own existence as unique individuals in particular situations cannot be adequately understood through philosophical and scientific theories, and that such theories deprive us of the possibility of individual choice and self-realization. Thus, existential philosophizing begins with the description of the human self as an ” existing individual”, but the views of thinkers on human existence are very different. And yet there is something in common. Since Kierkegaard, existential thinkers have argued that man has no purpose or essence that is given to him by God or set by nature; each of us must choose and decide for ourselves who he is. As for the topic “individual and general”, “personality and system” — it can be called one of the key ones. Kierkegaard came up with an epitaph for himself: “Here lies the Singular.” Kierkegaard contrasted the concept of the “Individual” with both philosophical systems and mass stereotypes. There is a connection between these poles. For Kierkegaard, every philosophical system was an attempt to understand individual existence within the concepts of genus and species, which are in a logically necessary connection with the logic of the universe. For the most part, people who live in a stereotypical role are those who are aware of themselves through the concepts that they embody (for example, citizen, parishioner, pastor, family man, etc.). In any case, the individual is secondary to the concept that he embodies. However, Kierkegaard argued, and other “existentialists” after him, that individual existence is primary, and concepts are only an inadequate effort to comprehend individual existence, which always escapes conceptualization. The translation of Kierkegaard's works and the discovery of Nietzsche's views had a huge impact on German thought after the First World War. (Although Kierkegaard lived in the first half of the nineteenth century, his work was virtually unknown outside of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden until the early twentieth century. In the nineteenth century. Kierkegaard's popularity was hindered by fierce criticism from” liberal ” Protestant thought (A. Harnack, A. Richl, E. Treltsch, etc.). Kierkegaard was a black sheep in the general atmosphere of “complacency and optimism”.) M. Heidegger, influenced by Kierkegaard, Augustine and Nietzsche's” philosophy of life”, began his major work “Being and Time “(1927) with” existential analysis”, which seeks to describe life from the point of view of a specific” being-in-the-world ” (In-Der-Welt-Sein). And not only in Germany, and not only in philosophy, there was an awareness of the impossibility of the existence of any rational basis for the world and man. What Kierkegaard discovered earlier than others, half a century after his death, many thinkers and writers felt, while others remained in the worldview of the nineteenth century. This was very clearly shown in the artistic prose of that era: for example, chronologically the work of J. R. R. Tolkien. Galsworthy and F. Kafka intersect, but their worlds are absolutely incommensurable. Galsworthy described the human dramas of Victorian and post-Victorian England, and these dramas seem like a real pastoral compared to the life of a small man who does not even have a name, Mr. K., who is entangled in a web of absolutely incomprehensible and alien connections and orders of the world, inevitably leading him to death. Kierkegaard anticipated many twentieth-and twenty-first-century authors by arguing that an individual's actions and choices can only be understood from the perspective of a “participant”, not a “spectator”; thus, the philosopher's position shifts from “contemplation” to “participation”. Kierkegaard eventually concluded that the only way to understand the Individual is to destroy the System. The model of the philosophical system for him was, of course, the system of Hegel, and rationalistic metaphysics became the subject of his attacks and ridicule. But Kierkegaard did not deny objective (or even absolute) truth. He believed that reality is a complete system for God. As for the” ultimate ” truth for a person, in his opinion, it can only be achieved by the thinker in his existence — that is, in passion and risk of choice. We can say that a person whose soul life Kierkegaard called “subjectivity” lives in truth only if he believes in something that is not “objective” truth.

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