The Paradoxical Rationality of Søren Kierkegaard

The Paradoxical Rationality of Søren Kierkegaard

McCombs, Richard
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/04/2013
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-00647-9
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Richard McCombs presents Søren Kierkegaard as an author who deliberately pretended to be irrational in many of his pseudonymous writings in order to provoke his readers to discover the hidden and paradoxical rationality of faith. Focusing on pseudonymous works by Johannes Climacus, McCombs interprets Kierkegaardian rationality as a striving to become a self consistently unified in all its dimensions: thinking, feeling, willing, acting, and communicating. McCombs argues that Kierkegaard’s strategy of feigning irrationality is sometimes brilliantly instructive, but also partly misguided. This fresh reading of Kierkegaard addresses an essential problem in the philosophy of religion—the relation between faith and reason.

Author Bio

Richard McCombs teaches at St. John’s College in Santa Fe.


A strong and original argument that goes against popular understandings of Kierkegaard.

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Table of Contents

1. A Pretense of Irrationalism
2. Paradoxical Rationality
3. Reverse Theology
4. The Subtle Power of Simplicity
5. A Critique of Indirect Communication
6. The Figure of Socrates and the Climacean Capacity of Paradoxical Reason
7. The Figure of Socrates and the Downfall of Paradoxical Reason
8. The Proof of Paradoxical Reason

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