chapter  11
30 Pages

Kierkegaard and Modern Science

Kierkegaard was, no doubt, an extreme thinker. And being extreme compels the thinker to pursue the consequences of a principle or a premise to the bitter end. This is exactly what Kierkegaard did. The principles or premises that made him so extreme are not based on theology or metaphysics but on empirical psychology. He was not only a religious thinker; he pursued the principle of particularity. If such a thing as particularity exists in the world, what can be said about what it is? This is the fundamental question Kierkegaard posed, and he ended up with one of the most original, radical, and enlightening contributions to Western thinking ever made. However, Kierkegaard did little more than take into account what psychology really was thought to be about, which was examining the role of perception. Yet perception is not just an innocent, isolated phenomenon, suitable for informal small talk and sloppy chatter. To include perception in science represents an earthquake; it turns everything upside down, in that subjectivity forms the basis and multiplicity and chaos are the outcomes. This stands in stark contrast to our ideals and expectations of science, which stands for objectivity and complete order.