Between Kierkegaard and Descartes

faith, reason, and the ontology of creation

Authors

  • Avron Kulak Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto

Keywords:

Kierkegaard, Descartes, creation, faith, reason

Abstract

In this essay I pose the question of the relationship between faith and reason by examining central texts of Kierkegaard and Descartes.  I focus particularly on the relationship of the Genesis story creation – its ontology and ethics – to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Descartes’ Meditations and Discourse on Method in order to examine the history and ethics that underpin the latter three texts.  I argue that, in aligning their projects with biblical principles and values, and in also distinguishing their work from the principles and values underpinning ancient Greek thought, Kierkegaard and Descartes together teach us that existence cannot be divided between faith and reason, that existence is religious or philosophical, faithful or rational, only if it is both simultaneously.

Author Biography

Avron Kulak, Department of Humanities, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Toronto

Avron Kulak is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at York University, Toronto, where he also teaches in the graduate programs in Humanities and in Social and Political Thought. He has published studies on, among others, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Derrida.

References

The Bible. Revised Standard Version. Meridian, 1974.

Descartes, René. Discourse on Method in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Volume I. Trans. Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1985.

Descartes, René. Meditations in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Volume II. Trans. Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1984.

Kierkegaard, Søren. The Concept of Irony. Trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Fear and Trembling. Trans. Alastair Hannay. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1985.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Philosophical Fragments. Howard . Hong nd dna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Kierkegaard, Søren. Works of Love. Trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995.

Published

2021-07-15

Issue

Section

Academic Articles