Project Seminar: Atsuya Matoba

The most characteristic point in Kierkegaard’s authorship in the middle period is presumably human love (menneskelig Kjerlighed), which is symbolised by the theme “Love hopes all things”. In Works of Love, Kierkegaard said the loving one “lovingly hopes that at every moment there is possibility, the possibility of the good for the other person”. On the other hand, in the late and final period, Kierkegaard obviously and completely abandoned this idea, and the martyrdom came to be emphasized, and thereby human love was abandoned.

In this seminar, I try to elucidate why he abandoned his thought of human love, by clarifying three points: (1) his despair at human beings triggered the conversion from human love, (2) it is “through bitter experiences” (SKS 13, 105, TS) that his despair at human beings was brought and his human love was deleted, and (3) his Regine image was tightly connected to his hope for human beings, and the “bitter experiences” are supposed to be his Regine-experience closed by the failure in the reconciliation with Regine in 1848, which made Kierkegaard’s previous Regine image collapse.