Volume 9, Issue 2, Spring 2019
Michael J. Healy, Ronda de Sola Chervin
Interpreting Kierkegaard’s Notion That “Truth Is Subjectivity”
The article interprets Kierkegaard’s thesis that “truth is subjectivity,” unfolding four possible meanings:
1. the deepest kinds of knowledge can only come from lived experience;
2. self-knowledge is essential for metanoia or change;
3. if the “how” is right, then the “what” or the truth will also be given; and
4. the deepest importance of truth lies in living it.
These reflections are then related to personalist themes: the incarnate person as responsible, as inviolable, and as averse to coercion; the incarnate person as having a mysterious interiority, an infinite abyss of existence, and as never reducible to a mere part of a whole nor simply determined from within or without; this interiority is not isolating but opens up toward others; and freedom is not arbitrary but implies universal moral and particular religious calls.
Finally, I ask whether Kierkegaard’s personalism is too individualistic and does not do full justice to some of the themes here.