Søren Kierkegaard's "Fear and Trembling"
Read Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. As you read and take notes, answer the following questions, focusing on Chapters 3 through 5: What is the distinction that Kierkegaard draws between the aesthetic and the ethical? What does Kierkegaard mean when he says "for religion is the only power which can deliver the aesthetical out of its conflict with the ethical"? What is the religious?
Also do the following: Think about Abraham's decision to sacrifice his son. Answer the following questions: Why is Abraham so willing to do this? How does Kierkegaard justify Abraham's behavior? Jot down your thoughts about what Kierkegaard means by the "teleological suspension of the ethical". What makes Abraham a "knight of faith", according to Kierkegaard? Write down definitions for Kierkegaard's notions of "the aesthetical", "the ethical", and "the religious" as they are used in Chapters 3 through 5. Be sure to include the differences among these concepts in your notes. When is the leap of faith necessary, according to Kierkegaard? Could you, or would you, make such a leap? Is there a place for reason and reasoned argument within Kierkegaard's view of life?