How to Misunderstand Kierkegaard
An Instruction Manual for Assistant Professors and Other Immoral and Disreputable Persons
Imprint: Cascade Books
300 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.60 in
- Published: September 2022
$38.00 / £34.00 / AU$60.00Buy
- Published: September 2022
$58.00 / £51.00 / AU$91.00Buy
This book is an attempt to write about Kierkegaard's philosophy in the style of Kierkegaard's philosophy: energetic, playful, free spirited, surprising, and joyous. It is a deliberately crumby book in the sense that it seeks out the fragments, scraps, and crumbs of philosophical arguments that are generally ignored or swept away, like so much rubbish, but that are actually the most interesting parts of the meal. The Anti-Assistant-Professor Method that this book follows adopts Kierkegaard's many excellent jokes about assistant professors as a guide to how not to write about Kierkegaard's philosophy; specifically: - Don't cease to be human. - Don't be a parasite, merely feeding off other people's creations and never creating anything new. - Don't reduce or simplify or systematize Kierkegaard's ideas in order to make life easier for everyone (because that was never the point). - Don't kill Kierkegaard's philosophy by lecturing on it, thereby turning it into a collection of dead ideas for nonhumans rather than subjective truths that need to be lived. Following these guidelines, the book attempts to extend and amplify some of Kierkegaard's most important ideas in a way that combats the persistent problem of nihilism--a disease that even Kierkegaard succumbed to at the end of his life.
Stuart Dalton is a philosophy professor at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.
“With laughter on his side, Stuart Dalton playfully employs the Anti-Assistant-Professor Method and succeeds in showing readers how to misunderstand Kierkegaard. Readers familiar with Kierkegaard’s writings will unlearn many fine things, while those new to the weird world of Kierkegaard will find that humor is the best aid to learning what one does and doesn’t need to know.”
—Michael Strawser, University of Central Florida
“Stuart Dalton’s Kierkegaard is fun, funny, and joyously playful. Amid the growing pile of worthy tomes on the Danish thinker, this stands out like a jewel: sparkling, entertaining, and genuinely insightful. If there were one book I’d want to put into the hands of a new reader of Kierkegaard, this would be it. Enjoy the ride!”
—Steven Shakespeare, Liverpool Hope University
“In How to Misunderstand Kierkegaard, Stuart Dalton does Kierkegaard the immense service of presenting his thought in a way that would further its impact on readers. Few have managed to synthesize humor and earnestness in order to achieve true earnestness, as Kierkegaard wished us to do. For adopting the earnestness that Kierkegaard recommended and making good use of it to introduce his thought, I wholeheartedly recommend this work.”
—Lydia Amir, Tufts University