Søren Kierkegaard

Literary Birthday – 5 May – Søren Kierkegaard


Søren Kierkegaard was born 5 May 1813, and died 11 November 1855

12 Philosophical Søren Kierkegaard Quotes

  1. The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
  2. People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
  3. What is a poet? An unhappy person who conceals profound anguish in his heart but whose lips are so formed that as sighs and cries pass over them they sound like beautiful music.
  4. There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
  5. I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations — one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it — you will regret both.
  6. Listen to the cry of a woman in labour at the hour of giving birth — look at the dying man’s struggle at his last extremity, and then tell me whether something that begins and ends thus could be intended for enjoyment.
  7. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner; put yourself in his place so that you may understand- what he learns and the way he understands it
  8. My standpoint is armed neutrality.
  9. Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
  10. A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.
  11. The truth is a trap: you cannot get it without it getting you; you cannot get the truth by capturing it, only by its capturing you.
  12. Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.

Søren Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, and religious author. He wrote critical texts on organised religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology and philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables. His works include Fear and Trembling and Works of Love. He is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.

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by Amanda Patterson

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