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Existentialism
Søren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)
The Concept of Dread (1844)
So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die--yet not as though there were hope of life (the sickness unto death)
Søren Kierkegaard
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Introduction
 

In what sense the subject of this deliberation is a theme of interest to psychology, and in what sense, after having interested psychology, it points precisely to dogmatics.

THE notion that every scientific problem within the great field embraced by science has its definite place, its measure and its bounds, and precisely thereby has its resonance in the whole, its legitimate consonance in what the whole expresses-this notion, I say, is not merely a pium desiderium which ennobles the- man of science by the visionary enthusiasm or melancholy which it begets, is not merely a sacred duty which employs him in the service of the whole, bidding him renounce lawlessness and the romantic lust to lose sight of land, but it is also in the interest of every more highly specialised deliberation, which by forgetting where its home properly is, forgets at the same time itself, a thought which the very language I use with its striking ambiguity expresses; it becomes another thing, and attains a dubious perfectibility by being able to become anything at all. By thus failing to let the scientific call to order be heard, by not being vigilant to forbid the individual problems to hurry by one another as though it were a question of arriving first at the masquerade, one may indeed attain sometimes an appearance of brilliancy, may give sometimes the impression of having already comprehended, when in fact one is far from it, may sometimes by the use of vague words strike up an agreement between things that differ. This gain, however, avenges itself subsequently, like all unlawful acquisitions, which neither in civic life nor in the field of science can really be owned.

Thus when a person entitles the last section of his Logic "Reality,"' he thereby gains the advantage of appearing to have already reached by logic the highest thing, or, if one prefers to say so, the lowest. The loss is obvious nevertheless, for this is not to the advantage either of logic or of reality. Not to that of reality, for the contingent, which is an integral part of reality, cannot be permitted to slip into logic. It is not to the advantage of logic, for if logic has conceived the thought of reality it has taken into its system something it cannot assimilate, it has anticipated what it ought merely to predispose. The punishment is clear: that every deliberation about what reality is must by this be made difficult, yea, perhaps for a long time impossible, because this word "reality" will, as it were, require some time to recall to mind what it is, must have time to forget the mistake.

Thus when in dogmatics a person says that faith is the immediate, without more precise definition, he gains the advantage of convincing everyone of the necessity of not stopping at faith, yea, he compels even the orthodox man to make this concession, because this man perhaps does not at once penetrate the misunderstanding and perceive that it is not due to a subsequent flaw in the argument but to this proton psendos. The loss is indubitable, for thereby faith loses by being deprived of what legitimately belongs to it: its historical presupposition. Dogmatics loses for the fact that it has to begin, not where it properly has its beginning, within the compass of an earlier beginning. Instead of presupposing an earlier beginning, it ignores this and begins straightway as if it were logic; for logic in fact begins with the most volatile essence produced by the finest abstraction: the immediate. What then logically is correct, namely, that the immediate is eo ipso annulled, becomes twaddle in dogmatics; for to no one could it occur to want to stop with the immediate (not further defined), seeing that in fact it is annulled the instant it is mentioned, just as a sleepwalker awakes the instant his name is called.

Thus when sometimes in the course of investigations which are hardly more than propaedeutic' one finds the word "reconciliation" used to designate speculative knowledge, or the identity of the knowing subject and the thing known, the subjective-objective, etc., thin one easily sees that the author is brilliant and that by the aid of his esprit he has explained all riddles, especially for those who do not even scientifically take the precaution, which yet one takes in everyday life, to listen carefully to the words of the riddle before guessing it. Otherwise one acquires the incomparable merit of having by one's explanation propounded a new riddle, namely, how it could occur to any man that this might be the explanation. That thought possesses reality was the assumption of all ancient philosophy as well as of the philosophy of the Middle Ages. With Kant this assumption became doubtful. Suppose now that the Hegelian school had really thought through Kant's scepticism (however, this ought always to remain a big question, in spite of all Hegel and his school' have done, by the help of the catchwords "Method and Manifestation," to hide what Schelling' recognised more openly by the cue "intellectual intuition and construction," the fact, namely, that this was a new point of departure) and then reconstructed the earlier view in a higher form, in such wise that thought does not possess reality by virtue of a presupposition - then this consciously produced reality of thought a reconciliation? In fact philosophy is merely brought back to the point where in old days one began, in the old days when precisely the word "reconciliation" had immense significance. We have an old and respectable philosophical terminology: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. They invent a newer one in which mediation occupies the third place. Is this to be considered such an extraordinary step in advance? Mediation is equivocal, for it designates at once the relation between the two terms and the result, that in which they stand related to one another as having been brought into relationship; it designates movement, but at the same time rest. Whether this is a perfection, only a far deeper dialectical test will decide; but for that unfortunately we are still waiting. They do away with synthesis and say "mediation." All right. But esprit requires more, so they say "reconciliation." What is the consequence? It is of no advantage to their propaedeutic investigations, for of course they gain as little as truth thereby gains in clarity, or as a man's soul increases in blessedness by acquiring a title. On the contrary, they have fundamentally confounded two sciences, ethics and dogmatics specially in view of the fact that, having got the word "reconciliation" introduced, they now hint that logic is properly the doctrine about the logos. Ethics and dogmatics contend in a fateful confinium about reconciliation. Repentance and guilt torture out reconciliation ethically, whereas dogmatics in its receptivity for the proffered reconciliation has the historically concrete immediateness with which it begins its discourse in the great conversation of science. What then will be the consequence? That language will presumably have to celebrate a great sabbatical year, in order to be able to begin with the beginning.

In logic they use the negative as the motive power which brings movement into everything. And movement in logic they must have, any way they can get it, by fair means or foul. The negative helps them, and if the negative cannot, then quibbles and phrases can, just as the negative itself has become a play on words.

[Exempli gratia: Wesen ist was ist gewesen, ist gewesen is the preterite tense of "to be," ergo Wesen is das aufgehoben being "the being which has been." This is a logical movement! If in the Hegelian logic (such as it is in itself and through the contributions of the School) one were to take "he trouble to pick out and make a collection of all the fabulous hobgoblins and kobolds which like busy swains help the logical movement along, a later age would perhaps be astonished to discover that witticisms which then will appear superannuated once played a great role in logic, not as incidental explanations and brilliant observations, but as masters of movement which made Hegel's logic a miracle and gave the logical thoughts feet to walk on, without anybody noticing it, since the long cloak of admiration concealed the performer who trained the animals, just as Lulu [in a play] comes running without anybody seeing the machinery. Movement in logic is the meritorious service of Hegel, in comparison with which it is hardly worth the trouble of mentioning the never-to-be-forgotten merits which Hegel has, and has disdained in order to run after the uncertain-I mean the merit of having in manifold ways enriched the categorical definitions and their arrangement.]

In logic no movement can come about, for logic is, and everything logical simply is, [The eternal expression of logic is that which the Eleatic School transferred by mistake to existence: Nothing comes into existence, everything is.] and this impotence of logic is the transition to the sphere of being where existence and reality appear. So when logic is absorbed in the concretion of the categories it is constantly the same that it was from the beginning. In logic every movement (if for an instant one would use this expression) is an immanent movement, which in a deeper sense is no movement, as one will easily convince oneself if one reflects that the very concept of movement is a transcendence which can find no place in logic. The negative then is the immanence of movement, it is the vanishing factor, the thing that is annulled (aufgehoben). If everything comes to pass in that way, then nothing comes to pass, and the negative becomes a phantom. But precisely for the sake of getting something to come to pass in logic, the negative becomes something more, it becomes the producer of the opposition, and not a negation but a counterposition. The negative then is not the muteness of the immanent movement, it is the "necessary other,"' which doubtless-must be very necessary to logic in order to set things going, but the negative it is not. Leaving logic to go on to ethics, one encounters here again the negative, which is indefatigably active in the whole Hegelian philosophy. Here too a man discovers to his amazement that the negative is the evil.' Now the confusion is in full swing there is no bound to brilliancy, and what Mme. de Staël-Holstein said of Schelling's philosophy," that it gave a man esprit for his whole life, applies in every respect to the Hegelian philosophy. One sees how illogical movements must be in logic since the negative is the evil, and how unethical they must be in ethics since the evil is the negative. In logic this is too much, in ethics too little; it fits nowhere if it has to fit both places. If ethics has no other transcendence, it is essentially logic; if logic is to have so much transcendence as after all has been left in ethics out of a sense of shame, then it is no longer logic.

What I have expounded is perhaps rather prolix for the place where it stands (in relation to the subject with which it deals it is far from being too long), but it is by no means superfluous, since the particular observations are selected with reference to the subject of this work. The examples are taken from the greater world, but what occurs in the great may be repeated in the lesser, and the misunderstanding remains the same, even if the injurious consequences are less. He who gives himself the airs of writing the System has the great responsibility, but he who writes a monograph can be and ought to be faithful over a little.

The present work has taken as its theme the psychological treatment of "dread," in such a way that it has in mente and before its eye the dogma of original sin. It has therefore to take account, although tacitly, of the concept of sin. Sin, however, is not a theme for psychological interest, and it would only be to abandon oneself to the service of a misunderstood cleverness if one were to treat it thus. Sin has its definite place, or rather it has no place, and that is what characterises it. Its concept is altered, and at the same time the mood which properly corresponds to the correct concept is confused, and instead of the endurance of the genuine mood one has the fleeting jugglery of the false mood.

[The fact that science, fully as much as poetry and art, assumes a mood both on the part of the producer and on the part of the recipient, that an error in modulation is just as disturbing as an error in the exposition of thought, has been entirely forgotten in our age, when people have altogether forgotten inwardness and appropriation with the characteristic joy they prompt at the thought of all the glory one believed one possessed or through cupidity had renounced, like the dog which preferred the shadow. However, every error begets its own enemy. An error of thought has outside of it as its enemy, dialectics; the absence of mood or its falsification has outside of it its enemy, the comical.]

Thus when sin is drawn into aesthetics the mood becomes either frivolous or melancholy; for the category under which sin lies is contradiction, and this is either comic or tragic. The mood is therefore altered, for the mood corresponding to sin is seriousness. Its concept is altered, for whether it becomes comic or tragic, it is either an enduring thing, or a thing which as unessential is annulled [aufgehoben], whereas properly its concept is, to be overcome. In a deeper sense the comical and the tragical have no enemies; the antagonist is either a bogy which makes one weep, or a bogy which makes one laugh.

If sin is dealt with in metaphysics, the mood is the dialectical indifference and disinterestedness which thinks sin through as something which cannot resist thought. The concept is altered; for it is true that sin has to be overcome, not however as that to which thought is unable to give life, but as that which exists and as such is everybody's concern.

If sin is dealt with in psychology, the mood becomes the persistence of observation, the dauntlessness of the spy, not the ardent flight of seriousness away from and out of sin. The concept becomes a different one, for sin becomes a state. But sin is not a state. Its idea is that its concept is constantly annulled. As a state (de potentia) it is not, whereas de actu or in actu it is and is again. The mood of psychology would be antipathetic curiosity, but the correct mood is the stout-hearted opposition of seriousness. The mood of psychology is the dread corresponding to its discovery, and in its dread it delineates sin, while again and again it is alarmed by the sketch it produces. When sin is treated in such a way it becomes the stronger; for psychology is really related to it in a feminine way. Doubtless there is an element of truth in this state of mind, and doubtless it emerges in every mans life more or less when the ethical makes its appearance; but by such treatment sin becomes not what it is but more or less than it is.

As soon therefore as one sees the problem of sin treated, it is possible at once to see from the mood whether the concept is the right one. For example, as soon as sin is talked about as a sickness, an abnormality, a poison, a disharmony, then the concept too is falsified.

Sin does not properly belong in any science. It is the theme with which the sermon deals, where the individual talks as an individual to the individual. In our age scientific self-importance has turned the priests into professorial parish-clerks of a sort, who also serve science and think it beneath their dignity to preach. It is no wonder therefore that preaching has come to be regarded as a pretty poor art. Nevertheless, preaching is the most difficult of all arts, and essentially it is the art which Socrates extols: the art of being able to converse. From this of course it does not follow that there must be someone in the congregation to make answer, or that it might be a help to have someone regularly introduced to speak. When Socrates censured the Sophists by making the distinction that they were able to talk but not to converse, what he really meant was that they were able to say a great deal about everything, but lacked the factor of personal appropriation. Appropriation is precisely the secret of conversation.

To the concept of sin corresponds the mood of seriousness. The science in which sin might most plausibly find a place would surely be ethics. About this, however, there is a great difficulty. Ethics is after all an ideal science, and that not only in the sense that every other science is ideal. Ethics bring ideality into reality; on the other hand its movement is not designed to raise reality up into ideality. [If one will consider this more sharply, one will have opportunity to perceive how brilliant it was to entitle the last section of logic "Reality," inasmuch as not even ethics reaches that. The reality with which logic ends signifies therefore in the way of reality no more than that "being" with which it begins.] Ethics points to ideality as a task and assumes that man is in possession of the conditions requisite for performing it. Thereby ethics develops a contradiction, precisely for the fact that it makes the difficulty and the impossibility clear. What is said of the Law" applies to ethics, that it is a severe schoolmaster, which in making a demand, by its demand only condemns, does not give birth to life. Only the Greek ethics constituted an exception, due to the fact that it was not ethics in the proper sense but contained an ethical factor. This is evinced clearly in its definition of virtue" and in what Aristotle says often but also in Ethica Nicomachea affirms with charming Greek naivete that, after all, virtue alone does not make a man happy and content, but he must have health, friends, earthly goods, be happy in his family. The more ideal ethics is, the better. It must not let itself be disturbed by the twaddle that it is no use requiring the impossible; for even to listen to such talk is unethical, is something for which ethics has neither time nor opportunity. Ethics does not have to chaffer, nor in that way does one reach reality. If that is to be reached, the whole movement must be reversed. This characteristic of ethics, namely, that it is so ideal, is what tempts one in the treatment of it to employ now a metaphysical category, now an aesthetical, now a psychological. But of course ethics above all sciences must withstand temptations, but because there are these temptations no one can write an ethics without having entirely different categories up his sleeve.

Sin belongs to ethics only in so far as upon this concept it founders by the aid of repentance.

[With regard to this point one will find several observations by Johannes de silentio, author of Fear and Trembling (Copenhagen 1843). There the author several times allows the wishful ideality of the aesthetical to founder upon the exacting ideality of the ethical, in order by these collisions to let the religious ideality come to evidence, which is precisely the ideality of reality, and therefore is just as desirable as that of aesthetics and not impossible like that of ethics, and to let it come to evidence in such a way that it breaks out in the dialectical leap and with the positive feeling, "Behold, all things have become new!" and in the negative feeling which is the passion of the absurd to which the concept of "repetition" corresponds. Either the whole of existence is to be expressed in the requirement of ethics, or the condition for its fulfilment must be provided and with that the whole of life and of existence begins afresh, not through an immanent continuity with the foregoing (which is a contradiction), but by a transcendent fact which separates the repetition from the first existence by such a cleft that it is only a figure of speech to say that the foregoing and the subsequent state are related to one another as the totality of the living creatures in the sea are related to those in the air and on the land, although according to the opinion of some natural scientists the former is supposed to be the prototype which in its imperfection prefigures everything which becomes manifest in the latter. With regard to this category one may compare Repetition by Constantine Constantius (Copenhagen 1843). This book is in fact a whimsical book, as its author meant it to be, but nevertheless it is so far as I know the first which has energetically conceived repetition and let it be glimpsed in its pregnance to explain the relation between the ethical and the Christian, by indicating the invisible summit and the discrimen rerum where science breaks against science until the new science comes forth. But what he has discovered he has hidden again by arraying the concept in the form of jest which aptly offers itself as a mode of presentation. What has moved him to do this it is difficult to say, or rather it is difficult to understand; for he says himself that he writes this "so that the heretics might not be able to understand him." As he has only wished to employ himself with this subject aesthetically and psychologically, he might have planned it all humoristically, and the effect would have been produced by the fact that the word at one moment signifies everything, and the next moment the most insignificant thing, and the transition, or rather the perpetual falling from the stars, is justified as a burlesque contrast. However, he stated the whole thing pretty clearly on page 34: "Repetition is the interest of metaphysics and at the same time the interest upon which metaphysics founders," etc. This sentence contains an allusion to the thesis that metaphysics is disinterested, as Kant affirmed of ethics. As soon as the interest emerges, metaphysics steps to one side. For this reason the word is italicised. The whole interest of subjectivity emerges in real life, and then metaphysics founders. In case metaphysics is not posited, ethics remains a binding power; presumably it is for this reason he says that "it is a solution of every ethical apprehension." If repetition is not posited, dogmatics cannot exist at all; for in faith repetition begins, and faith is the organ for the dogmatic problems. in the sphere of nature repetition exists in its immovable necessity. In the sphere of spirit the problem is not to get change out of repetition and find oneself comfortable under it, as though the spirit stood only in an external relation to the repetitions of the spirit (in consequence of which good and evil alternate like summer and winter), but the problem is to transform repetition into something inward, into the proper task of freedom, into freedom's highest interest, as to whether, while everything changes, it can actually realise repetition. Here the finite spirit falls into despair. This Constantine has indicated by stepping aside and letting repetition break forth in the young man by virtue of the religious. Therefore Constantine says several times that repetition is a religious category, too transcendent for him, that it is a movement by virtue of the absurd, and on page 42 it is said that eternity is the true repetition. All this Professor Heiberg has failed to observe, but he has very kindly wished by his knowledge (which like his New Year's gift-book is singularly elegant and up-to-date) to help this work to become a tasteful and elegant insignificance, by pompously bringing the question back to the point where (to recall a recent book) the aesthetic writer in Either/Or had brought it in "The Rotation of Crops." if Constantine were really to feel himself flattered by enjoying in this instance the rare honour which brings him into an undeniably elect company-then to my way of thinking, since it was he who wrote the book, he must have become stark mad. But if on the other hand an author like him, who writes in order to be misunderstood, were so far to forget himself and had not ataraxia enough to account it to his credit that Professor Heiberg had not understood him-then again he must be stark mad. And this I have no need to fear, for the circumstance that hitherto he has not replied to Professor Heiberg indicates that he has adequately understood himself.]

If ethics must include sin, its ideality is lost. The more it remains in its ideality, and yet never becomes inhuman enough to lose sight of reality, but corresponds with this by willing to suggest itself as a task for every man, in such a way as to make him the true man, the whole man, the man kat exohin, all the greater is the tension of the difficulty it proposes. In the fight to realise the task of ethics sin shows itself not as something which only casually belongs to-a casual individual, but sin withdraws deeper and deeper as a deeper and deeper presupposition, as a presupposition which goes well beyond the individual. Now all is lost for ethics, and it has contributed to the loss of all. There has, come to the fore a category which lies entirely outside its province. Original sin makes everything still more desperate - that is to say, it settles the difficulty, not, however, by the help of ethics but by the help of dogmatics. As all ancient thought and speculation were founded upon the assumption that thought had reality, so also all ancient ethics upon the assumption that virtue is realisable. Scepticism of sin is entirely foreign to paganism. For the ethical consciousness, sin is what an error is in relation to knowledge, it is the particular exception which proves nothing.

With dogmatics begins the science which, in contrast to that science of ethics which can strictly be called ideal, starts with reality. It begins with the real in order to raise it up into the ideality. It does not deny the presence of sin, on the contrary, it assumes it, and explains it by assuming original sin. However, since dogmatics is very seldom treated purely, one will often find original sin drawn into its domain in such a way that the impression of the heterogeneous originality of dogmatics does not strike the eye but is obscured, which happens also when one finds in it a dogma about angels, about the Holy Scripture, etc. Dogmatics therefore should not explain original sin but expound it by assuming it, like that vortex the Greeks talked so much about, a something originating movement, upon which no science can lay its hand.

That such is the case with dogmatics will readily be admitted when one finds leisure to understand for- a second time Schleiermacher's immortal services" to this science. People long ago deserted him when they chose Hegel, and yet Schleiermacher was in the beautiful Greek sense a thinker who could talk of what he has known, whereas Hegel, in spite of his remarkable and colossal learning, reminds us nevertheless again and again by his performance that he was in the German sense a professor of philosophy on a big scale, who á tout prix must explain all things.

The new science then begins with dogmatics, in the same sense that the immanent science begins with metaphysics. Here ethics finds its place again as the science which has the dogmatic consciousness of reality as a task for reality. This ethic does not ignore sin, and its ideality does not consist in making ideal requirements, but its ideality consists in the penetrating consciousness of reality, of the reality of sin, yet not, be it observed, with metaphysical frivolity or psychological concupiscence.

One readily sees the difference of the movement, and that the ethic of which we are now speaking belongs to another order. The first ethic foundered upon the sinfulness of the individual. So far from being able to explain this, the difficulty had to become still greater and the riddle more enigmatic, for the fact that the sin of the individual widens out and becomes the sin of the whole race. At this juncture came dogmatics and helped by the doctrine of original sin. The new ethics presupposes dogmatics and along with that original sin, and by this it now explains the sin of the individual, while at the same time it presents ideality as a task, not however by a movement from above down, but from below up.

It is well known that Aristotle used the name proto philosophia [the first philosophy] and denoted by that more especially metaphysics, although he included also a part of what to our notion belongs to theology. It is entirely natural that in paganism theology should be treated in this place; it evinces the same lack of infinite penetrating reflection which accounts for the fact that in paganism the t heater had reality as a sort of divine worship. If now one will waive the objection to this ambiguity, we might retain this name and understand by proto philosophia the totality of science, we might describe it as ethnic, the nature of it being immanence or use the Greek term "recollection"; and understand by secunda philosophia that of which the nature is "repetition".

[Schelling recalled this Aristotelian name to favour his distinction between negative and positive philosophy. By negative philosophy he understood "logic," that was clear enough; on the other hand it was not so clear to me what he really understood by "positive," except in so far as it remained indubitable that positive philosophy was that which he himself provided. However, it is not feasible to go into that, since I have nothing to hold on to, except my own interpretation.

Of this Constantine Constantius has reminded us by pointing out that immanence founders upon "interest." It is in fact with this concept that reality first comes into view.]

The concept of sin does not properly belong in any science; only the second ethics can deal with its apparition but not with its origin. If any other science were to discuss it, the concept would be confused. For example, coming closer to our theme, if psychology were to do so.

What psychology has to deal with must be something in repose, something which abides in a mobile state of quiet, not with an unquiet thing which constantly reproduces itself or is repressed. But the abiding state, that out of which sin constantly becomes (comes into being), not by necessity, for a becoming by necessity is simply a state of being (as is for example the entire history of the plant), but by freedom-in this abiding state, I say, which is the predisposing assumption, the real possibility of sin, we have a subject for the interest of psychology. What can properly concern psychology, that for which it can concern itself, is the question how sin can come into existence, not the fact that it exists. In its interest in its object psychology carries the thing so far that it is as if sin were there; but the next thing, the fact that it is there, is qualitatively different from this. To show then that this presupposition for the careful observation of psychology turns out to be more and more comprehensive is the interest of psychology; yea, psychology is willing to abandon itself to the illusion that hereby sin is really posited. But this last illusion betrays the impotence of psychology and shows that it has served its turn.

That human nature must be such that it makes sin possible, is, psychologically speaking, perfectly true; but to want to let this possibility of sin become its reality is shocking to ethics and sounds to dogmatics like blasphemy; for freedom is always possible, as soon as it is it is actual, in the same sense in which it has been said by an earlier philosophy" that when God's existence is possible it is necessary.

As soon as sin is really posited, ethics is on the spot and follows every step it takes. How it came into being does not concern ethics, except in so far as it is certain that sin came into the world as sin. But still less than with the genesis of sin is ethics concerned with the still life of its possibility.

If one would ask more particularly in what sense and to what extent psychology pursues the object of its investigation, it is clear from the foregoing and in itself that every observation of the reality of sin as an object of thought is irrelevant to it, nor as the object of observation does it belong to ethics either, for ethics never acts as observer, but accuses, condemns, acts. In the next place, it follows from the foregoing and is evident in itself that psychology has nothing to do with the details of empirical actuality, except in so far as they are outside of sin. As a science, psychology can never have anything to do with the detail which underlies it, and yet this detail may receive its scientific representation in proportion as psychology becomes more and more concrete. In our age this science, which above all others has leave to intoxicate itself, one might almost say, with the foaming multifariousness of life, has become as spare in its diet and as ascetic as any anchorite. This is not the fault of the science but of its devotees. In relation to sin, on the other hand, this whole content of reality is properly denied to it, only the possibility of it still belongs to it. To ethics of course the possibility of sin never presents itself, and ethics never lets itself be fooled into wasting its time upon such reflections. Psychology, on the other hand, loves them; it sits sketching the contours and measuring the angles of possibility, and no more would let itself be disturbed than would Archimedes."

But while psychology thus delves into the possibility of sin, it -is without knowing it in the service of another science, which is only waiting for it to be finished in order to begin for its part and help psychology to an explanation. This other science is not ethics, for ethics has nothing whatsoever to do with this possibility. No, it is dogmatics, and here in turn the problem of original sin emerges. While psychology is fathoming the real possibility of sin, dogmatics explains original sin, which is the ideal possibility of sin. On the other hand, the second ethics has nothing to do with the possibility of sin nor with original sin. The first ethics ignores sin, the second ethics has the reality of sin in its province, and here only by a misunderstanding can psychology intrude.

If what has been here expounded is correct, one will easily see with what justification I have called this book a psychological deliberation, and will see also how this deliberation, in so far as it brings to consciousness its relation to science in general, properly belongs to psychology and leads in turn to dogmatics. Psychology has been called the doctrine of the subjective spirit. If one will pursue this science a little more precisely, one will see how, when it comes to the problem of sin, it must change suddenly into the doctrine of the Absolute Spirit. Here is the place of dogmatics. The first ethics presupposes metaphysics, and the second dogmatics; but it also completes it in such a way that here as everywhere the presupposition comes to evidence.

This was the task of the introduction. The introduction may be correct -while the deliberation itself dealing with the concept of dread may be entirely incorrect. That remains to be seen.




Ce qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé. Nietzsche, Gay Science

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