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Publication Details

Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard in and on Paradox

(Original title: Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard in and on Paradox)
Filozofia, 69 (2014), 5, 451-457.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: English

The article provides an analysis of the confrontation with the limits of reason in Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. For both thinkers such a confrontation denotes some sort of “running up against the paradox” that helps human beings to constitute themselves as ethical and/or religious subjects. In contrast with the so-called “austere” interpretation of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard (Conant and others), the seemingly futile running up against the absurdity is presented as a necessary ingredient of a certain view of language and life, i.e. a view that conceives life and language merely as a succession of events and a description of facts. However, the meaning of a certain subset of events and propositions shows itself only if these events are valued in terms of the totality of individual life or state of affairs and if these propositions are accompanied by a wholesome way of living and a wholesome attitude towards the world. For both authors the confrontation with the absurdity is also closely related to the confrontation with madness as a far limit of reasoning.


Forms of life, Limits of language, Meaning of life, Paradox, Religion

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