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Word Count: 1,486
A clear understanding of what Soren Kierkegaard 1813-1855 meant by thesuspension of the ethical can be achieved upon careful study of his widerphilosophies on stages or aspects of an individuals life In this short text Iwill examine these philosophies exploring what Kierkegaard meant by each oneIll then put into context these stages of life by looking at them in relationto that which Kierkegaards text Fear and Trembling in which he introducesthe concept of a teleological suspension of the ethical is based on that beingthe biblical story of Abraham and Isaac Finally Ill examine the problems ofhis theory and explore some of the presumptions and pre-requisites itnecessitatesFirstly I find it necessary to understand the context in which Kierkegaard wroteand believed the philosophies we now explore Kierkegaards writings were notwithout a purpose or agenda His own life was the source by which he details hiswider more abstract theories on life in general He is intrinsically linked tothe Christian faith and he writes with that in the forefront of his mindIndeed Fear and Trembling itself is based upon a passage of scripture whichKierkegaard examines and bases his points upon The point Kierkegaard is makingultimately is that he believes that the religious stage of life one of threehe feels he has discovered is the one that means the most and should bedesired Kierkegaard identifies an existential progression between these stageswhich is on initial study contradicted by the passage of scripture he tacklesIt is by examining these stages that the answer to the question set can berevealedThe first of these stages is the aesthetic For Kierkegaard this is the lowestform of being For a particular human being to lead an aesthetic existence wouldrequire him to indulge purely in sensuous pleasures The implication in theaesthetic is that only the external provides value However Kierkegaardssuggestion is that this level of being lacks anything outside of itself Itsvalue he submits is void of meaning and direction and those who inhabit thisexistence simply pass
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