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Kierkegaard: A Very Short Introduction

Patrick Gardiner

Publication Date - 16 May 2002

ISBN: 9780192802569

144 pages


Scholars have largely misunderstood Soren Kierkegaard, remembering him chiefly in connection with the development of existentialist philosophy in this century. In a short and unhappy life, he wrote many books and articles on literary, satirical, religious and psychological themes, but the diversity and idiosyncratic style of his writing have contributed to a misunderstanding of his ideas. In this book--the only introduction to the full range of Kierkegaard's thought--Patrick Gardiner demonstrates how Kierkegaard developed his ideas and examines his thoughts in light of the doctrines on society developed by his contemporaries Marx and Feuerbach. Finally, he assesses the profound importance of Kierkegaard's ideas on the development of modern ways of thinking.


  • Introduction to the full range of Kierkegaard's thought
  • Assesses the profound importance of Kierkegaard's ideas on the development of modern ways of thinking
  • Shows how Kierkegaard developed his views in emphatic opposition to prevailing opinions

About the Author(s)

Patrick Gardiner was formerly an Emeritus Professor of Magdalen College, Oxford


Review from previous edition: "Patrick Gardiner's beautifully written Kierkegaard makes him come alive both as a thinker and as a human being."--Independent

"Marvellously lucid and readable book."--E. Pivcevic, University of Bristol

Table of Contents

    1. Life and character
    2. Philosophical background
    3. The immorality of an age
    4. Modes of existence
    5. Truth and subjectivity
    6. Freedom and the self
    7. Conclusion

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