Res Philosophica

Volume 101, Issue 2, April 2024

Habermas Special Issue

Jürgen Habermas
Pages 175-190

Thoughts on Reading Kierkegaard in a Pluralist Society

Soren Kierkegaard’s Lutheran existentialism represents a distinctively postmetaphysical philosophy of religion, focused in particular on a Christian vision of ethical authenticity. His philosophy continues to pose challenging questions for postmetaphysical philosophers in contemporary pluralistic settings. Focusing on specific works of Kierkegaard, this essay develops three such questions: (1) Can philosophy in a postmetaphysical vein still give advice for the pursuit of the good life, today’s diversity of life styles and values notwithstanding? (2) How can a postmetaphysical philosophy relate to the ethical teachings and truth claims of religious doctrines? (3) Is postmetaphysical philosophy still capable of an “upbuilding and awakening” discourse that can induce and stabilize an ethical self-consciousness?