Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kierkegaard's leap of faith and logic

I would say that K's idea of a leap of faith isn't a total negation of logic, in the sense of doing something inherently counter-intuitive, but instead the substitution and belief of one sort of logic for another. The Leap of Faith was demonstrated most forcefully in his recounting of the story of Abraham and Isaac, with the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice Isaac being understood as a Leap of Faith that put faith in a greater logic than individuals with an egoistic perspective could perceive. K talks about how individuals are limited in their own worlds, so to speak, living with their own conventional and self referential logic, but the Leap of Faith puts faith, so to speak, in a higher logic that can be interpreted not as a religious logic per se, but as a kind of social logic or a logic of the world. This would be similar but at the same time very different from Hegel's conception of the world as the manifestation of absolute Mind/Spirit, the difference being that like some of the earlier Idealists K thought that the ultimate plan of this sort of logic was in the end unknowable, and therefore part of a reality that can only be approached, but never reached, and approached somewhat dimly compared to what folks like Schelling thought was possible.

We are all contextualized in our own little worlds, and breaking out of them into action in the world in a purer way sometimes requires putting what are really petty concerns that don't come from logic considered in a more extensive sense but instead from our selves aside and acting with faith that this greater sense of life ultimately makes sense.

*on edit: this post is based on solving some problems from a paper I wrote in fall 2001 as an undergraduate. 

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