chapter  10
24 Pages

Kierkegaard and Modern Psychology

Modernity has so far been described in terms of the autonomous and independent revolution that characterized Western thinking after René Descartes presented his systematic thoughts in the year 1637. Cogito ergo sum—“I think, therefore I am”—must be seen as a core formulation of what modernity is all about (Toulmin, 1992). Yet the cogito is primarily based on doubt. This is a point of departure: specifically doubting everything and finding out what is left, which is the thinking subject. And this is a basis for introducing psychology, because psychology was, around this time, gradually turning into being a well-defined discipline dealing with subjectivity. Thus the cogito is not just thinking; it also presents a fundamental doubt about everything except the subject. This is at the same time the introduction of modernity.