Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources








Volume 2:
Kierkegaard and the Greek World

Edited by Jon Stewart and Katalin Nun


Tome I: Socrates and Plato
Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2010. xix+321pp.

Tome II: Aristotle and Other Greek Authors
Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2010. xv+335pp.

The present volume features articles that employ source-work research to trace Kierkegaard’s understanding and use of authors from the Greek tradition. The articles treat a series of figures of varying importance in Kierkegaard’s authorship, ranging from early Greek poets to late Classical philosophical schools. In general it can be said that the Greeks collectively constitute one of the single most important bodies of sources for Kierkegaard’s thought. He studied Greek from an early age and was profoundly inspired by what might be called the Greek spirit. Although he is generally considered a Christian thinker, he was nonetheless consistently drawn back to the Greeks for ideas and impulses on any number of topics. He frequently contrasts ancient Greek philosophy, with its emphasis on the lived experience of the individual in daily life, with the abstract German philosophy that was in vogue during his own time. It has been argued that he modeled his work on that of the ancient Greek thinkers specifically in order to contrast his own activity with that of his contemporaries.

Tome I: Socrates and Plato

This volume has been organized so as to reflect the full spectrum of Kierkegaard’s Greek sources. Tome I is dedicated to the different pictures of Socrates. It contains a series of articles on Plato, who is clearly his main Greek source in general. In addition, a second section features articles on Xenophon and Aristophanes, the other ancient sources of Socrates discussed by Kierkegaard. A third section contains articles that treat the reception of the figure of Socrates in the Germanophone world and in Denmark respectively.


Table of Contents

Part I: Plato’s Socrates

Apology: Kierkegaard’s Socratic Point of View
Paul Muench

Meno: Kierkegaard and the Doctrine of Recollection
David D. Possen

Phaedo and Parmenides: Eternity, Time, and the Moment or From the Abstract Philosophical to the Concrete Christian
Janne Kylliäinen

Phaedrus: Kierkegaard on Socrates’ Self-Knowledge—and Sin
David D. Possen

Protagoras and Republic: Kierkegaard on Socratic Irony
David D. Possen

Symposium: Kierkegaard and Platonic Eros
Rick Anthony Furtak

Theaetetus: Giving Birth or Kierkegaard’s Socratic Maieutics
Marius Timmann Mjaaland

Cumulative Plato Bibliography
Katalin Nun

Part II: Other Greek Sources on Socrates

Aristophanes: Kierkegaard’s Understanding of the Socrates
of the Clouds

Eric Ziolkowski

: Kierkegaard’s Use of the Socrates of the Memorabilia
William McDonald

Part III: Later Interpretations of Socrates

Kierkegaard’s Socrates Sources in Eighteenth-
and Nineteenth-Century  Danish Scholarship
Tonny Aagaard Olesen

Kierkegaard’s Socrates Sources in Eighteenth-
and Nineteenth-Century Germanophone Scholarship

Harald Steffes


“This exciting collection of essays examines Kierkegaard’s engagement with, and debt to Greek philosophy…. Kierkegaard was shaped by Socrates from the beginning, and continually looked to Socrates (primarily as portrayed by Plato) as a role model and an inspiration, as well as for specific concepts, themes and ideas; Kierkegaard without Socrates is simply inconceivable, and yet it seems as if this relationship is practically ignored. These essays begin to redress this imbalance in Kierkegaard scholarship, by examining Kierkegaard’s relationship with Socrates, the sources he used to develop his view of Socrates, and what he did with his Socrates once he had him….In addition to the essays, the book contains cumulative bibliographies of the relevant writings owned by Kierkegaard, as well as modern secondary literature referenced by the essayists themselves. This book is certain to be useful to anyone doing research on Kierkegaard and Socrates; but more importantly, the essays explore concepts that Kierkegaard took from Plato and Socrates and made his own, so anyone wishing to understand Kierkegaard better will profit from this book regardless of prior background in the Greeks.”
Glenn Kirkconnell, Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, no. 58, November 2011, pp. 10-11.


Tome II: Aristotle and Other Greek Authors

While Tome I treats the different sources for Socrates, Tome II features articles dedicated to the rest of Kierkegaard’s Greek sources, beginning with a section containing several articles on different aspects of Aristotle’s writings that influenced his thought. This is followed by another section featuring analyses of other Greek philosophers and philosophical schools, which were important for him. Finally, a third section explores Kierkegaard’s uses of a handful of Greek poets, dramatists and historians.


Part I: Aristotle
Organon and Metaphysics IV: The First Principles of Logic

and the Debate about Mediation
Håvard Løkke and Arild Waaler

Physics and Metaphysics: Change, Modal Categories and Agency
Håvard Løkke and Arild Waaler

Nicomachean Ethics: Ignorance and Relationships
Håvard Løkke

Poetics: The Rebirth of Tragedy at the End of Modernity
Daniel Greenspan

Rhetoric: Eloquence, Faith and Probability
Heiko Schulz

Cumulative Aristotle Bibliography
Katalin Nun

Part II: Other Greek Philosophers

Diogenes Laertius: Kierkegaard’s Source and Inspiration
Nicolae Irina

The Eleatics: Kierkegaard’s Metaphysical Considerations
of Being and Motion
Jon Stewart

Heraclitus: Presocratic Ideas of Motion, Change and Opposites

in Kierkegaard’s Thought
Finn Gredal Jensen

The Skeptics: Kierkegaard and Classical Skepticism
Anthony Rudd

The Sophists: Kierkegaard’s Interpretation of Socrates and the Sophists
K. Brian Söderquist

The Stoics: Kierkegaard on the Passion for Apathy
Rick Anthony Furtak

Part III: Poets, Dramatists and Historians

Aeschylus: Kierkegaard and Early Greek Tragedy
Finn Gredal Jensen

Euripides: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Tragic Heroes
Nicolae Irina

Herodotus: Traces of The Histories in Kierkegaard’s Writings
Finn Gredal Jensen

Hesiod: Kierkegaard and the Greek Gods
Nicolae Irina

Homer: Kierkegaard’s Use of the Homeric Poems
Finn Gredal Jensen

Plutarch: A Constant Cultural Reference
Nicolae Irina

Sophocles: The Tragic of Kierkegaard’s Modern Antigone
Nicolae Irina


Kierkegaard and the Bible,
Tomes I-II


Volume 2

Kierkegaard and the
Greek World,
Tomes I-II


Volume 3

Kierkegaard and the
Roman World


Volume 4
Kierkegaard and the

Patristic and

Medieval Traditions


Volume 5
Kierkegaard and the
Renaissance and
Modern Traditions,
Tomes I-III


Volume 6

Kierkegaard and his
German Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III


Volume 7

Kierkegaard and his
Danish Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III




























































































The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published Routledge Research, Philosophy
Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group, 711 Third Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA

Jon Stewart©2007-2020