Three Aspects of Courage in Kierkegaard (2017) in Slovenian

Published in:
Koteska Jasna, "Trije vidiki poguma pri Kierkegaardu: Strah, Tesnoba in izbira", in Kierkegaard, Pogum za dejanje, Mednarodna filozofska delavnica in četrta konferenca, Apokalipsa in CERI, Ljubljana, 2017, 92-98.

Translated from English into Slovenian by Primož Repar

Three Aspects of Courage in Kierkegaard: Fear, Anxiety, and Choice.

Jasna Koteska

[...] If courage is a choice to confront the fear, and the accompanying qualities of fear, such as intimidation, agony, pain, danger, and uncertainty, than courage does not simply imply fearlessness. Quite on contrary. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the very presence of fear. The fear remains within a person. But despite that fear, one still goes on and performs an action in the face of that fear, despite of that fear.

If the courage is an ability to do something that frightens a person, than the question is what had frightened Søren Kierkegaard the most? In Either/Or (1843), we find the following statement: “One fears for oneself, that one will lose what made one happy, blissful, and rich; one fears for what one loves, that it […] will perhaps appear less perfect, that it will possibly fail to answer the many questions, alas, and then all is lost, the magic is gone, and it can never again be evoked.” However, except the fear of losing oneself, happiness, love, knowledge, and magic, Kierkegaard witnessed something even more disturbing regarding the status of fear in modern times. He says that in modern times, fear is in the state of decline, and consequently, we are facing the decline of courage. 

Kierkegaard discusses in greater details what the feelings of “fear” and “compassion” meant in the old times, and what they mean in the modern timesIn the Ancient world, the “sorrow is more profound, the pain less”. In modern days, the pain is greater, but the sorrow is less important. And he gives an example of a small child: if the child sees an adult who suffers, the child will reflects the sorrow, although it does not have to reflect on the idea of pain. Yet, his/her pain is there. When the adult sees a child suffer, the pain is greater, but the sorrow is less profound, which according to Kierkegaard, produces the decline of courage.


Post a Comment