portrait of Soren Kierkegaard
Sketch by cousin Niels Christian Kierkegaard (Ca. 1840)

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Quotes of the Day for 5 May 2004 – Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was born at København, Denmark on this day in 1813. His father, a wealthy and devoutly Christian man, was convinced that none of his children would live to the age of 34, and only two of seven did. Largely from this religious melancholy he grew up in, Kierkegaard's philosophy became a bridge between Hegelian philosophy and Existentialism. Much of his early work was written under pseudonyms, which becomes confusing when one of his published selves would comment on the others.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life's relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice flowers on the window panes, which vanish with the warmth.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!

It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived forwards.

The truth is a snare: you cannot have it without being caught. You cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it, but only in such a way that it catches you.
     - All from Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, 1813 - 1855

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