‘Kierkegaard’: A Reasonable Fideist?
Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2002
The Editor/Blackwell Publishers Ltd 1998
The Heythrop Journal
Volume 39, Issue 4, pages 363–378, October 1998
How to Cite
Insole, C. (1998), ‘Kierkegaard’: A Reasonable Fideist?. The Heythrop Journal, 39: 363–378. doi: 10.1111/1468-2265.00084
- Issue online: 16 DEC 2002
- Version of Record online: 16 DEC 2002
- Cited By
The task I set myself is to identify whether Climacus is an extreme or moderate fideist, and to go on to evaluate how convincing or persuasive I find Climacus' position. Separating metaphysical and epistemological fideism, I spend the first section of the article denying that Climacus is a ‘metaphysical fideist’. This involves looking at the notion of ‘truth as subjectivity’. I will claim that in expounding this notorious maxim Climacus can be seen as expressing something almost trivially obvious and/or something substantially wrong. I will further argue that even the obvious version of the maxim needs to be heavily qualified before it can be a sufficient account of ‘religious truth’.
In the second section of the article I argue that Climacus should be understood as a moderate fideist, who considers that reason should assent to its own limitations. Although I will approve of reason-exhausting projects, I will complain that the paradox which is supposed to so exhaust my reason does not perplex me in the relevant sense.