Elucidating humour in Kierkegaard’s philosophy
Keywords:Kierkegaard, humour, Hegel, Freud, Shakespeare
Søren Kierkegaard recognised that humour belongs to the highest stages of life among the ethical and religious spheres of existence but not the aesthetic one. In Kierkegaard’s philosophy, humour aids in maintaining a true self, which requires constantly striving to remain in communion, to attain synthesis, to balance a multitude of different humours, and to oppose aspirations that exist within the personal self. Through the analysis of the contrasting and conflicting views of Kierkegaard’s humour as the highest stage of life, Hegel’s objective humour, Freud’s relief theory linking humour to the unconscious, and Shakespeare’s tragicomedy Hamlet, the aim is to understand how humour contributes to the existence of being and whether the initial ontological meaning of the word humour managed to transport itself from the sphere of life in the 19th century into our contemporary world view, into our state of mind, and into our life philosophy.
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