What is the ‘conclusion’ of Either/Or – Socratic Aporia or Hegelian Anerkennung?
Mads Platon-Rødsgaard, M.A.
Videncenter for Sundhedsfremme,
University College South Denmark
This article presents an argument that the ‘ending’ of Either/Or (hereafter, EO) could be inspired by Hegel’s concept of Anerkennung (recognition). If reading EO through such an interpretive lens, then EO would stress the interconnectedness of A and Wilhelm, and that it is through mutual recognition that A and Wilhelm can move toward an autonomous life-view. Broadly it is argued that EO presents a clash (fight to the death) between two opposed life-views. These life-views are only partially true (both are in despair), and therefore it is necessary for both life-views to recognize the limits of their own view, and the truth that is to be found in the opposing view. Through mutual recognition, it is possible for both A and Wilhelm to move beyond despair. Through a Hegelian lens of Anerkennung, this could be considered the ‘conclusion’ of EO. If A and Wilhelm recognize the need for this form of recognition, EO is silent about.
Kierkegaard; Hegel; Either/Or; Anerkennung; recognition; aesthetic; ethical; life-view; stages.
This article is the conclusion of a research activity, which main focus has been to present how elements of German Idealism are found in the work EO. This article discusses the ‘conclusion’ of EO and suggests that the ‘ending’ can be understood in relation Georg F.W. Hegel’s concept of Anerkennung (recognition). It is argued that EO might apply a ‘conclusion’ that to a greater degree stresses the interconnectedness of A and Wilhelm, and that it is through mutual recognition that A and Wilhelm can secure a development to an autonomous life-view.
It has often been commented that Søren Kierkegaard (hereafter, SK) is a key opponent of Hegel (e.g. MacIntyre), but, as Jon Stewart has noted, Hegel has had a significant influence on the development of SK’s thinking. When SK was writing EO, he was engaged in a careful study of Hegel’s texts, as Stewart comments: “The second period [of Kierkegaard’s use of Hegel] begins with The Concept of Irony in 1841 and runs through Fear and Trembling in 1843. This period is characterized by a thorough study of carefully selected text by Hegel […]”.While it is correct that SK also shows a negative evaluation of Hegel, it has been noted that the major turn regarding this was caused by Johan Ludvig Heiberg’s negative review of SK’s EO. Because this major turn is found after the publication of EO, one could present an argument that EO is to be considered as a work that is still very inspired by the philosophy of Hegel. This article presents such an argument.
2. The ‘conclusion’ of EO?
When one engages with EO, one will initially note the form of the work. EO presents two volumes, which is accompanied by an introductory letter from the publisher, Victor Eremita. Eremita states that he has found a collection of papers in an old writing desk (EO1, 6), and hereafter sorted them in accordance to their styles and themes. This sorting of the papers reveals that they present papers from an author with an esthetic life-view (the character of A), and letters to the esthetic character from an author with an ethical life-view (the character of Wilhelm) (Ibid., 7). As pointed out by Eremita, no conclusion is given:
Then, when he has read the book, he can perhaps think of the title. This will release him from every final question – whether A actually was persuaded and repented, whether B was victorious, or whether perhaps B finally came around to A’s thinking. In this respect, these papers come to no conclusion (EO1, 13-14).
It is thereby up to the reader to reflect on the relationship between A and Wilhelm. It would initially seem straightforward to interpret this open-ended ‘conclusion’ of EO as an act of Socratic Aporia. Aporia presents a state of puzzlement, which seems impossible to solve with the knowledge at hand. The early dialogues of Plato are renowned for making use of Aporia. Here Socrates and the dialogue-partners leave the dialogue without having solved the questions posed (e.g. Meno). Interpreting EO as a work that makes use of Socratic Aporia would make a great deal of sense, especially when one considers the significance of the character of Socrates in SK thought. What is important to be aware of is that SK also presents an explicit critique of this sort of ending. In SK’s thesis for graduation (CI), handed in two years prior to EO, SK directly comments on the failure of Socrates in regard to Aporia. According to SK, Socrates’ interventions ‘shatter’ the false understanding of reality of his dialogue-partners, but without introducing a positive pedagogical element, which can secure a new and improved standpoint:
Therefore he [Socrates] placed individuals under his dialectical vacuum pump, pumped away the atmospheric air they were accustomed to breathing, and left them standing there. For them everything was now lost, except to the extent that they were able to breathe ethereal air. Socrates, however, had nothing more to do with them but hastened on to new ventures (CI, 178).
The dialogue-partners are thereby just left bewildered by Socrates, according to SK. SK’s critique of Socrates links to a critique of Socrates found in the philosophy of Hegel. What Hegel and SK claim is that the dialectic of Socrates only contains a negative element, and thereby Socrates just leaves emptiness behind (CI 36), as also commented by Stewart: “Kierkegaard thus reiterates Hegel’s criticism that the Platonic dialectic stops with the negative and contains no positive element.”. The Socratic dialectical method therefore fails in this regard, and SK points to the speculative method of Hegel as a way to surpass Socrates (CI, 35-36).
With this in mind, then EO as ‘ending’ in Socratic Aporia would be a difficult point to hold, when one considers the Hegelian influence and the explicit critique of Socratic Aporia.
3. Hegel and the Concept of Anerkennung
The Hegelian concept of Anerkennung is, in my opinion, closely tied to a critique of a dichotomy that arises in German thought. In Germany, through the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Johann G. Fichte, man was seen as a being, which had to secure freedom through an act of self-determination, and this act was to be done in opposition to empirical reality,. A Newtonian and Spinozian framework challenged the concept of freedom for man, because they linked causality to the empirical world, and thereby it could also be suggested that man was linked to this empirical causality. In order to secure freedom for man, one central premise was found, which can be traced back to Spinoza’s Ethics. In Ethics Spinoza argues that everything that exists, exist in God and as a manifestation of the God. It is only God that can be considered free, and this is due to God’s ability to act as the first cause (causa sui): “That thing is called free which exists from the necessity of its own nature alone, and is determined to action by itself alone. That thing, on the other hand, is called necessary, or rather compelled, which by another is determined to existence and action in a fixed and prescribed manner.” While the influence of Spinoza on Kant can be questioned, it is quite clear that the argument for freedom is very similar to that of Spinoza. Kant argues in his work Metaphysik der Sitten:
Der Wille ist eine Art von Kausalität lebender Wesen, sofern sie vernünftig sind, und Freiheit würde diejenige Eigenschaft dieser Kausalität sein, da sie unabhängig von fremden sie bestimmenden Ursachen wirkend sein kann; so wie Naturnothwendigkeit die Eigenschaft der Kausalität aller vernunftlosen Wesen, durch den Einfluss fremder Ursachen zur Thätigkeit bestimmt zu werden.
Thereby, the Kantian quest of securing freedom for man was resting on a foundation, which saw man as a being with an ability to make this act of self-determination in opposition to all ‘outer’ forms of causality. This approach is also found in the philosophy of Fichte. A slight change is that Fichte argues that two radically different views of the metaphysical reality of man exist. Either, man has this ability of self-determination. Or, man is just causally determined through the empirical world. Fichte argues that there is no middle-ground to be found in this existential conflict and no mutual understanding can be secured between the two opposing standpoints/life-views.
Hegel deeply criticized this philosophical dichotomy between the I-hood of man and the empirical world. In Hegel’s Differenzschrift (hereafter DS), he states that Kant and Fichte has mistreated nature by making such a radical opposition, and he furhter argues: “Wenn die Macht der Vereinigung aus dem Leben der Menschen verschwindet, und die Gegensätze ihre lebendige Beziehung und Wechselwirkung verloren haben, und Selbständigkeit gewinnen, entsteht das Bedürfniss der Philosophie.“ Thereby, when knowledge becomes ‘frozen’ in radical oppositions, it is up to philosophy to ‘break down’ the barriers that have arisen. A key point of Hegel is that nature is not to be understood as causally determining, but that nature has the potential for freedom: “Die Natur dagegen hat Freyheit, den sie ist nicht ein ruhendes Seyn, sondern zugleich ein Werden.”. With this change in understanding, Hegel then argues that man and nature must be understood as deeply connected, as Hegel states in DS:
Daß diese beyden entgegengesetzten, sie heißen nun Ich und Natur, reines und empirisches Selbstbewußtseyn […] in dieser Antinomie erblikt die gemeine Reflexion nichts als den Widerspruch, nur die Vernunft in diesem absoluten Widerspruche die Wahrheit, durch welchen beydes gesetzt und beydes vernichtet ist, weder beyde, und beyde zugleich sind.
It might appear that a radical opposition exists between the I-hood of man and the empirical world, but the truth of the matter is that they are deeply interconnected. The Hegelian concept of Anerkennung, as far as I understand it, is to be understood as this recognition of both the I-hood of man and the empirical world as interconnected elements.
While this understanding of Anerkennung is found throughout Hegel’s works, then the most famous passage that engages with Anerkennung is in the fourth chapter of Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes (hereafter, PhG), and is presented in the section on ‘Selbstständigkeit und Unselbstständigkeit des Selbstbewußtseins; Herrschaft und Knechtschaft’. In this section a clash is presented, where two forms of self-consciousness meet in a fight to the death. While this passage is central when engaging with Hegel’s concept of Anerkennung, the actual meaning of this section is disputed. A very popular reading is as an inter-subjective dialectic (e.g. Taylor, Solomon, and Pippin). Here self-consciousness is understood as a being with the ability to have self-consciousness, and this would thereby mean that the section presents two persons engaged in a fight to the death. A rarer interpretation is understood as an intra-subjective dialectic (e.g. Hartnack, Stekeler-Weithofer, and McDowell). This means that the section has to be understood in epistemological terms. The clash is thereby not a clash between two persons, but a clash between two different views of reality. My own opinion on the subject is that the section consists of an intra-subjective dialectic, which is linked to a discussion of Fichte found in DS. It is not possible for me to go into details, because my intent is not to present a Hegel exegesis, but to present a point on SK’s EO. What is important to note is that the notion of a double form of self-consciousness in PhG is also found in DS and presents this opposition between I-hood and nature, as presented in the quote above: “Daß diese beyden entgegengesetzten, sie heißen nun Ich und Natur, reines und empirisches Selbstbewußtseyn”. When Hegel thereby, in PhG, state that two forms of self-consciousness meet in a fight to the death, then this can be understood as the Kant/Fichtian dichotomy between I-hood and nature. The point, I want to address with Hegel’s concept of Anerkennung, is that Hegel argues against Fichte’s notion that no middle-ground exist in the clash between two mutually exclusive standpoints/life-views (I-hood vs. nature). Thereby, what Hegel presents in the section ‘Selbstständigkeit und Unselbstständigkeit des Selbstbewußtseins; Herrschaft und Knechtschaft’ is his sublation (Aufheben) of the incompatible difference. Truth is thereby not to be found in an either-or situation, but is to be found in a clash (fight to the death) and hereafter a fruitful exchange (recognition) between two opposed views. The dialectical development of truth is thereby concerned with this gaining of knowledge, through a process, whereby what one initially considers as being true, is found to be partially invalid. Through the recognition of the opposing standpoint, as a standpoint that is partially valid, it is possible to gain a higher and more correct standpoint of truth. According to Hegel, this process is a process ridden with despair, as Hegel states in the introduction of PhG: “Er kann deswegen als der Weg des Zweifels angesehen werden, oder eigentlicher als Weg der Verzweiflung […] er ist die bewußte Einsicht in die Unwahrheit des erscheinenden Wissen […]“. So, the insight into one’s failed understand of truth will render one with despair.
The point, I want to present, is that EO can be read as a work that makes use of the Hegelian concept of Anerkennung. With this I mean that two mutually exclusive standpoints/life-views meet in a clash (fight to the death). These standpoints are only partially true, and thereby it is necessary for both standpoints to engage in a dialectical unity (recognition). The process of recognition is a process of despair, but through a shared effort, it is possible to reach a higher and truer standpoint.
When reading EO through Hegel’s lens of Anerkennung, one will note that A and Wilhelm present two radically opposed standpoints, and that they both are quite self-certain that their own standpoint is correct. A completely disregards any opposing standpoints to his life-view: “If one or another of my esteemed listeners thinks there is anything to what I have said, he merely demonstrates that he has no head for philosophy. If he thinks there is any movement in what has been said, this demonstrates the same thing.” (EO1 39). Wilhelm also presents a quite arrogant approach:
[…] I would not direct him [anyone] to you if he in a higher sense wished to understand what it means to live esthetically, for you would be unable to inform him precisely, because you yourself are trapped in it; the only person who can explain it to him is the one who stands on a higher level, or the one who lives ethically. (EO2, 178)
A and Wilhelm therefore presents some quite large contrasts, and seem quite self-certain on their own standpoint. As also noted by Eremita, no conclusions are given: “We sometimes come upon novels in which specific characters represent contrasting views of life. They usually end with one persuading the other […] I consider it fortunate that these papers provide no enlightenment in this respect.” (EO1, 14). From a Hegelian point of view, this could be considered as the ‘fight to the death’ of PhG. Both life-views completely ignore any validity to the opposing standpoints and consider their own standpoint as the only truth.
In order to make such an interpretation possible, it would also mean that the life-views of both A and Wilhelm would have to be considered as only partially valid, which in a Hegelian sense would mean that they both despair. Despair is a major theme of EO and Wilhelm employs a very similar understanding of despair as that of Hegel, which was: “Er kann deswegen als der Weg des Zweifels angesehen werden, oder eigentlicher als Weg der Verzweiflung […] er ist die bewußte Einsicht in die Unwahrheit des erscheinenden Wissen […]“ , which Wilhelm presents as: “Doubt is thought’s despair, despair is personality’s doubt […] Despair is precisely a much deeper and more complete expression; its movement is much more encompassing than that of doubt. Despair is an expression of the total personality, doubt only of thought.” (EO2, 211-212). Despair is thereby, in Hegel’s and Wilhelm’s understanding, a form of doubt that questions the foundation of one’s knowledge/life-view.
That A despairs is rather obvious. The fragments in ‘Diapsalmata’ stress this element of despair: “How sterile my soul and my mind are, and yet constantly tormented by empty voluptuous and excruciating labor pains! Will the tongue ligament of my spirit never be loosened; will I always jabber?” (EO1, 24). That Wilhelm should despair is not that obvious, since he presents a standpoint that ought to cancel despair altogether (EO2, 219). What is important to note is that despair is not necessarily connected to the feeling of being despaired, as Wilhelm note: “[…] when they despair, the basis of it must be that they were in despair beforehand. The difference is only that they did not know it, but this is indeed an entirely accidental difference.” (EO2, 192). So even though one does not experience despair, this does not mean that they do not implicitly despair.
In order to understand the despair of Wilhelm, it can be fruitful to present this through the Kant/Fichtian dichotomy between I-hood and nature. The argument posed by Kant and Fichte was that man was in a position, where he/she ought to gain freedom through an act of self-determination. It was thereby a first act in complete opposition to all ‘outside‘ determining elements, as Kant stated: “Freiheit würde diejenige Eigenschaft dieser Kausalität sein, da sie unabhängig von fremden sie bestimmenden Ursachen wirkend sein kann”. Wilhelm would probably agree with this Kant/Fichtian notion of freedom, since Wilhelm himself finds that any life-view, which is bound by an outside determination, is to be considered a failed or despairing life-view, as he comments: “But every life-view that has a condition outside itself is despair.” (EO2, 235). So, freedom in the sense of Kant, Fichte, and Wilhelm is bound with an act of self-determination. Now, if one would agree that Wilhelm applies a similar framework as that of Kant and Fichte, and I think that this would be a valid interpretation, then one will also note a serious conflict of Wilhelm. In a passage in the second chapter of the second part of EO, Wilhelm comments on the ‘successful’ pedagogical activities of his father. Here Wilhelm notes:
Even if my father had died, even if I had been put in charge of someone else whom I could have prevailed upon to take me out of school, I would never have dared to do it or have really wanted it. It would have seemed to me as if my father’s ghost would appear and follow me about in school, for here again I would have had an infinite impression of what constituted my duty, so that no amount of time would ever erase the recollection that I had offended against his will (EO2, 268).
This passage is striking when we consider the life-view of Wilhelm, because: On the one hand Wilhelm presents a life-view that stresses this first self-determining act of choice. In the terminology of Wilhelm (and Fichte), this is presented by an activation of the will, whereby a solid life-view and freedom can be gained: “Here you see again how important it is that a choice is made and that it does not depend so much upon deliberation as on the baptism of the will, which assimilates this into the ethical.” (EO2, 169). On the other hand, Wilhelm’s upbringing is strongly based on the will of his father: “[…] I would have had an infinite impression of what constituted my duty, so that no amount of time would ever erase the recollection that I had offended against his will.” (EO2, 268). So, even though that Wilhelm stresses the importance of this ability of self-determination, it seems that the ‘ghost’ of his father presents a significant influence on Wilhelm. Thereby, a paradox exists in the life-view of Wilhelm, which cannot initially be settled. It would therefore seem that the life-view of Wilhelm also has “a condition outside” (EO2, 235), and because of this, through Wilhelm’s own premises, Wilhelm must be considered as a life-view of despair. Ronald Manheimer has commented on this paradox of Wilhelm:
How can a man become his own father without replacing him? If he replaces him there remains no standard of quality by which to judge oneself; in addition to which, one suffers the guilt of displacing the father through incarnation. But, if the father is not replaced as primary authority, the personality cannot mature into the autonomous agent of self-rule.
With such an interpretation of Wilhelm, it could be argued that both A and Wilhelm suffers from despair, and that both characters have some sort of ‘primordial will’ in the background, which they are not aware of themselves.
Through a Hegelian lens, the only way to solve the despair of A and Wilhelm would be through a mutual act of recognition. Both characters must recognize that their own life-view is only partially valid, and that the opposing life-view is partially true. A and Wilhelm do not have a full knowledge of this themselves, and they do not have the ability to move beyond despair on their own. Thereby, in order to move beyond the despair, they need the life-view of the Other, in order to get insight into what they cannot see themselves. Such an interpretation of EO would also present a quite Hegelian element in regards to the form EO. Hegel uses the concept of the negation of the negation to present a unity with a difference within. As argued by Hegel, life consists of interconnected oppositions. The negation of the negation can roughly be understood as a three-part process: (1) Initially there is a unity. (2) In this unity there is a difference (first negation). (3) Because the opposing elements are interconnected, then the unity is yet again secured (second negation). When reading EO through this conceptual lens, then one will note that: (1) EO presents a unity (a single work). (2) In this unity there is a difference: A (first part of EO) and Wilhelm (second part of EO). This difference in EO is therefore a negation of the unity. (3) Because the two life-views are connected, then EO still presents this unity, and thereby the negating difference is negated. The difference in the work is thereby an inner difference. To use the terminology of PhG: “sie ist sie selbst, und ihre entgegengesetzte in einer Einheit. Nur so ist sie der Unterschied als innerer, oder Unterschied an sich selbst, oder ist als Unendlichkeit“. That EO actually applies a conclusion that stresses A and Wilhelm as interconnected can be hinted at by Eremita. Eremita states: “In my continual preoccupation with these papers, it dawned on me that they might take on a new aspect if they were regarded as belonging to one person […] So, then, there was a person who in his lifetime had experienced both movements or had reflected upon both movements” (EO1, 13). Eremita has thereby found that the papers contain some sort of unity. SK also comments on the unity of EO:
My contemporaries cannot grasp the design of my writing. Either/Or divided into four parts or six parts and published separately over six years would have been all right. But that each essay in Either/Or is only part of a whole, and then the whole of Either/Or a part of a whole: that, after all, think my bourgeois contemporaries, is enough to drive one daft (EO1, 433).
I therefore find that it seems plausible that SK might have been inspired by the conceptual framework of Hegel, when writing EO. The ‘conclusion’ of EO would thereby stress A and Wilhelm as interconnected. Whether A and Wilhelm realise this need for mutual recognition, it is not possible to say, but, if we accept the Hegelian arguments of this article, then there are only two possible alternatives:
Either: A and Wilhelm recognize that they need each other, and through this knowledge they can venture on a shared journey that will lead out of despair.
Or: they will forever be ridden with despair, without any evident way of recognizing the grounds of their despair.
Appendix: Translations of German quotes
Footnote 13: Der Wille ist eine Art von Kausalität lebender Wesen, sofern sie vernünftig sind, und Freiheit würde diejenige Eigenschaft dieser Kausalität sein, da sie unabhängig von fremden sie bestimmenden Ursachen wirkend sein kann; so wie Naturnothwendigkeit die Eigenschaft der Kausalität aller vernunftlosen Wesen, durch den Einfluss fremder Ursachen zur Thätigkeit bestimmt zu werden.
The will is a species of causality of living beings, insofar as they are rational, and freedom would be that quality of this causality by which it can be effective independently of alien causes determining it; just as natural necessity is the quality of the causality of all beings lacking reason, of being determined to activity through the influence of alien causes (Trs. by Wood, A.W.: Kant 2002).
Footnote 16: Wenn die Macht der Vereinigung aus dem Leben der Menschen verschwindet, und die Gegensätze ihre lebendige Beziehung und Wechselwirkung verloren haben, und Selbständigkeit gewinnen, entsteht das Bedürfniss der Philosophie.
When the might of union vanishes from the life of men and the antitheses lost their living connection and reciprocity and gain independence, the need of philosophy arises (Trs. by Harris & Cerf: Hegel 1977).
Footnote 17: Die Natur dagegen hat Freyheit, den sie ist nicht ein ruhendes Seyn, sondern zugleich ein Werden.
And on the other side, nature has freedom. For nature is not a stillness of being, it is a being that becomes (Trs. by Harris & Cerf: Hegel 1977).
Footnote 18: Daß diese beyden entgegengesetzten, sie heißen nun Ich und Natur, reines und empirisches Selbstbewußtseyn […] in dieser Antinomie erblikt die gemeine Reflexion nichts als den Widerspruch, nur die Vernunft in diesem absoluten Widerspruche die Wahrheit, durch welchen beydes gesetzt und beydes vernichtet ist, weder beyde, und beyde zugleich sind.
These two opposites, whether they are called Ego and nature, or pure and empirical self-consciousness […] Ordinary reflection can see nothing in this antinomy but contradiction; Reason alone sees the truth in this absolute contradiction through which both are posited and both nullified, and through which neither exists and at the same time both exist (Trs. by Harris & Cerf: Hegel 1977).
Footnote 26: Same as first line in footnote 18.
Footnote 27: Er kann deswegen als der Weg des Zweifels angesehen werden, oder eigentlicher als Weg der Verzweiflung […] er ist die bewußte Einsicht in die Unwahrheit des erscheinenden Wissen.
This path can accordingly be regarded as the path of doubt, or, more properly, as the path of despair […] this path is the conscious insight into the untruth of knowing as it appears (Trs. by Pinkard, T.: Hegel 2018)
Footnote 29: Same as footnote 27.
Footnote 30: Same as footnote 13.
Footnote 35: sie ist sie selbst, und ihre entgegengesetzte in einer Einheit. Nur so ist sie der Unterschied als innerer, oder Unterschied an sich selbst, oder ist als Unendlichkeit
it is itself and its opposed world within one unity. Only in that way is it the difference as inner difference, or the difference in itself, or is the difference as infinity (Trs. by Pinkard, T.: Hegel 2018.
Fichte, J.G. (2001), Forsøg på en ny Fremstilling af Videnskabslæren, Frederiksberg. Det Lille Forlag.
- (1879), Die Bestimmung des Menschen, Hamburg: Tredition.
Hartnack, J. (1979), Fra Kant til Hegel – En Nytolkning, Viborg: Berlingske Forlag.
Hegel, G.W. F.(2013), Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie: Dritter Teil.
- (2006), Phaenomenologie des Geistes, Teddington: The Echo Library
- (2018), The Phenomenology of Spirit, tr. T. Pinkard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- (1801), Differenz des Fichte’schen und Schelling’schen System der Philosophie in Beziehung auf Reinhold’s Beyträge zur Leichtern Übersicht des Zustands der Philosophie zu Anfang des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts.
- (1977), The Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s System of Philosophy: An English Translation of G. W. F. Hegel’s Differenz des Fichte’schen und Schelling’schen Systems der Philosophie, trs. H. S. Harris, H. & W. Cerf, New York: State University of New York Press.
Kant, I. (1870), Metaphysik der Sitten, Berlin: Verlag von L. Heimann.
- (2002), Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, tr. A. W. Wood, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Kierkegaard, S. (1987a), Either/Or Part One, eds. trs. H. V. Hong, & E. H. Hong, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- (1987b), Either/Or Part Two, eds. trs. H. V. Hong, & E. H. Hong, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- (1989), The Concept of Irony: With Continual Reference to Socrates, eds. trs. H. V. Hong, & E. H. Hong, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Lord, B. (2011), Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to Deleuze, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
MacIntyre, A. (2011), After Virtue, London/New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Manheimer, R. J. (1977), Kierkegaard as Educator, London: University of California Press.
McDowell, J. (2006), ‘The Apperceptive I and the Empirical Self’ in: K. Deligiorgi, Hegel: New Directions, Chesham: Acumen.
Pippin, R. B. (2011), Hegel on Self-Consciousness: Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Platon (2011), Platons Samlede Værker i ny Oversættelse: III, København: Nordisk Forlag.
Platon-Rødsgaard, M. (2017), ‘Vælge det at Ville – Wilhelms Valg Belyst med Fichte’ in: Kierkgaard in Process, 2:1 (85-95).
- (2019), ‘The Will that Wills Nothing – A’s Life-view as an Expression of Schelling’s Weltalter’ in: Kierkgaard in Process, 3:1, (20-32).
Solomon, R. C. (1983), In the Spirit of Hegel, New York: Oxford University Press.
Spinoza, B. (1987), Ethics, tr. W. H. White, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Limited.
Stekeler-Weithofer, P. (2005), Philosophie des Selbstbewußtseins: Hegels System als Formanalyse von Wissen und Autonomie, Berlin: Suhrkamp.
Stewart, J. (2007), ‘Kierkegaard’s Reading and Use of Hegel’s Primary Texts’ in: J. Stewart, Kierkegaard and his German Contemporaries. Tome I: Philosophy, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, (97-166).
Stewart, J. & Nun, K. (2007), ‘Goethe: A German Classic through the Filter of the Danish Golden Age’ in: J. Stewart, Kierkegaard and his German Contemporaries. Tome III: Literature and Aesthetics, Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing Limited, (51-96).
Taylor, C. (1978), Hegel, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
 Platon-Rødsgaard 2017, Platon-Rødsgaard 2019.
 MacIntyre, 2010: 51.
 Stewart, 2007: 139. Italics in original.
 Heiberg was a great advocate of Hegel and Goethe.
 Stewart & Nun, 2008.
 Platon, 2011: 501-552.
 The full title of SK’s thesis of graduation is: The Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates.
 Stewart, 2007: 104.
 Kant, 1870: 75.
 Fichte, 1879: 117.
 Spinoza, 1987: 3.
 Lord, 2011: 1.
 Kant, 1870: 75.
 Fichte, 2001: 41.
 Hegel, 1801: xi.
 Ibid: 23.
 Ibid: 143.
 Ibid: 152.
 Hegel, 2006: 83.
 Taylor, 1978.
 Solomon, 1983.
 Pippin, 2011.
 Hartnack, 1979.
 Stekeler-Weithofer, 2005.
 McDowell, 2006.
 Hegel, 1801: 152. My emphasis.
 Hegel, 2006: 36. Emphasis in original.
 This might seem a bit of an odd statement. But, what A tries to avoid is to present any dialectical movement at all. Thereby, A attacks those that claim that his life-view contains movement. (See also: Platon-Rødsgaard 2019).
 Ibid: 36. Emphasis in original.
 Kant, 1870: 75.
 See: Platon-Rødsgaard 2017.
 My emphasis.
 Manheimer, 1977: 98.
 Hegel, 2013: 171-172.
 Hegel, 2006: 72. Emphasis in original.