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Schmitt’s Theory of the Enemy as a Challenge for Kierkegaard’s Theory of Nonpreferential Love

(Original title: Schmittova teória nepriateľa ako výzva pre Kierkegaardovu teóriu nepreferenčnej lásky)
Filozofia, 73 (2018), 10, 804-817.
Type of work: Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The aim of the paper is to confront Kierkegaard’s theory of nonpreferential love with Schmitt’s theory of the enemy and to point out new lines of philosophical reflection enabled by this confrontation. The textual points of departure for the confrontation are Kierkegaard’s Works of Love (1847) and Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political (1932). The paper first examines Kierkegaard’s distinction between preferential and nonpreferential love and outlines his doctrine of nonpreferential love of the enemy. Subsequently, it examines Schmitt’s concepts of the political enemy and private adversary and discusses their roles in Schmitt’s interpretation of the ethical imperative of the love of the enemy. Finally, Kierkegaard’s theory of the individual attitude of nonpreferential love is compared with and enriched by Schmitt’s reflections on the preferential behavior of political collectives.


C. Schmitt, Nonpreferential love / Neighbor-love, Political enemy, Private adversary, S. Kierkegaard, Theory of the enemy

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