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International Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 52, Issue 1, March 2012

Matthew T. Nowachek
Pages 5-20

On the Non-Bracketing of Fairy Tale in Paradox Discourse
Kierkegaard, the Analytic Tradition, and the Importance of Inclusivity

Paradox is a complex notion that has assumed a diverse range of forms within philosophy, and Søren Kierkegaard contributes one of the more interesting variations by employing a fairy tale to introduce what he identifies as the absolute paradox of the Incarnation. Despite this, more recent discussion on paradox has given little attention to Kierkegaard and has largely bracketed out any interaction with paradox that does not fit within the general analytic framework. In this paper, I evaluate the different characterizations of paradox offered by Kierkegaard and representative thinkers in the analytic tradition. I argue that the non-bracketing of Kierkegaard’s fairy tale as a valid form of paradox discourse not only provides a fuller account of paradox but also offers a critique of the attempt to exclude any form of paradox from philosophical discussion that does not already conform to the restrictions of the analytic approach.

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