History of Modern Philosophy
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. John Culp
March 31, 2004

I.   Kierkagaard
A.   Kierkegaard's philosophy focuses on individual human existence by stressing that an individual must choose whether or not to commit to God who cannot be understood.
B.   Kierkegaard's major concepts are:
1.   Human existence involves choosing to act as a conscious individual rather than attempting to achieve the universal.
2.   Truth is subjectivity in what we choose rather than being external to the person. Because as an individual we are alienated from our relationship with God, we must choose whether or not to commit to God.
3.   There are three stages that a person goes through in becoming an individual in relation to God:
a.   The aesthetic stage of immediacy with no limits and no commitments other than to self enjoyment. The possibility of spiritual existence challenges the sensuous person to choose either physical existence or a higher existence. (You have to chose to move onto the next stage)
b.   The ethical stage involves a commitment to the rules as other than the individual but eventually faces the challenge of the inability of each person to satisfy the law and a decision about whether or not to move to the religious stage.
4.   The religious stage relates to God as subject through a total commitment or leap of faith that overcomes the individual's alienation from God.