Kierkegaard’s ‘Either/Or’ portrays a theory of human existence

Publish Date : Friday 26 July 2019 - 16:29
IBNA- The first Book of the leading Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, ‘Either/Or’ ‎which portrays a theory of human existence has been translated into Persian and ‎published. ‎
According to IBNA correspondent, the book has been translated into Persian by Saleh Najafi from an English translation by Howard and Edna Hong; and released by Markaz Publishing in Tehran. It is the first book by Søren Aabye Kierkegaard published under the pseudonym Victor Eremita; the debut of a philosopher whose much of philosophical work focuses on the issues of how one lives as a single individual.

‘Either/Or’ portrays two life views. Each life view is written and represented by a fictional pseudonymous author, with the prose of the work reflecting and depending on the life view being discussed: the aesthetic life view is written in short essay form, with poetic imagery and allusions, discussing aesthetic topics such as music, seduction, drama, and beauty.

The ethical life view is written as two long letters, with a more argumentative and restrained prose, discussing moral responsibility, critical reflection, and marriage.  The views of the book are not neatly summarized, but are expressed as lived experiences embodied by the pseudonymous authors.

The book's central concern is the primal question asked by Aristotle, "How should we live?" His book was certainly informed by Epictetus; "Consider first, man, what the matter is, and what your own nature is able to bear. When you have fully considered this, approach, if you please—that is, if, by parting with them, you have a mind to purchase serenity, freedom, and tranquillity.”

The aesthete, according to Kierkegaard's model, will eventually find himself in "despair", a psychological state (explored further in Kierkegaard's The Concept of Anxiety and The Sickness Unto Death) that results from a recognition of the limits of the aesthetic approach to life.

Kierkegaard's "despair" is a somewhat analogous precursor of existential angst. The natural reaction is to make an eventual "leap" to the second phase, the "ethical," which is characterized as a phase in which rational choice and commitment replace the capricious and inconsistent longings of the aesthetic mode.

Ultimately, for Kierkegaard, the aesthetic and the ethical are both superseded by a final phase which he terms the "religious" mode. This is introduced later in ‘Fear and Trembling’.

Najafi says in the process of translation, he has compared Howard and Edna Hong’s translation with two other English translations by Alastair Hannay and David F. Swenson.

‘Either/Or’ in Persian has been published in 440 pages and 1600 copies.  
Story Code: 278911