Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Philosophy


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Donovan Wishon

Relational Format



Soren Kierkegaard was a nineteenth Danish thinker working within the Christian tradition. While he did not think of himself as a philosopher, much of his work as a writer in philosophical in nature and is important to the inquiry on the philosophy of the mind. Particularly within his work, The Sickness Unto Death, Kierkegaard presents an idea of the human self as a dialectic, understood to be a tension that must be maintained in the synthesis. This idea of the self a synthetic tension can be seen in Kierkegaard’s larger body of work, particularly within the programmatic scheme of the stage of human life: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious. The religious stage, which is the goal of human existence for Kierkegaard, is the only stage that reaches the true character of the synthetic tension required in order for the human self to be healthy and whole.



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