Kierkegaard and the Search for Self-Knowledge



Abstract: In the first part of this essay (Sections I and II), I argue that Kierkegaard's work helps us to articulate and defend two basic requirements on searching for knowledge of one's own judgements: first, that searching for knowledge whether one judges that P requires trying to make a judgement whether P; and second that, in an important range of cases, searching for knowledge of one's own judgements requires attending to how one's acts of judging are performed. In the second part of the essay (Sections III and IV), I consider two prima facie problems regarding this conception of searching for knowledge of one's own judgements. The first problem concerns how in general one can coherently try to meet both these requirements at once; the second, how in particular one can try to attend to one's own acts of judging. I show how Kierkegaard's work is alive to both these problems, and helps us to see how they can be resolved.