Utilstrækkeligt enestående: En kierkegaardsk diagnose af diagnosesamfundet

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning


Christian Hjortkjær

This dissertation is, as the subtitle states, a Kierkegaardian diagnosis of the
diagnostic society. The choice of subject is not diagnoses or existence, but the
way in which the single individual relates to both of them and how they thus
entangle. With the aid of critical theory, social psychology, and theological
critique of religion, the dissertation investigates how it affects us that in the
present time the diagnosis offers itself to every one of us, in the sense that we
can chose to see ourselves, and interpret our lives, through the ‘eyes’ of the
diagnostic manual.
The methodological approach is fundamentally Kierkegaardian. In order
to preserve the complexity of the subject, the dissertation presents four parallel
diagnoses (in four chapters) with an outset in four Kierkegaardian pseudonyms,
each of which adopt an independent position:
1. The climacian diagnosis brings a charge against society. With the aid of
critical theory, it is claimed that the demand to be outstanding has become a
founding existential premise of our time (out-standing, both in the sense of
being exceptional and in the sense of being independent of others, that is, by
standing out – by oneself). As such it is the normative demands of authenticity
and autonomy which bring us to the verge of exhaustion and depression.
The fact that the feeling of insufficiency is so dominant today is due to the painful
experience that we are not able to live up to the somewhat diffuse ideal of
being sufficiently outstanding.
2. The anti-climacian diagnosis shifts the perspective to the self. Here, the
basic premise is that there is no such thing as existential health, only a kind of
despair and shame, which the self cannot bypass. It is not so much the external
demand as the reaction of the self which causes the self to despair and lose
itself in downward moving spirals of shame and enclosed reserve.
3. The haufniencian diagnosis shifts the perspective to the mind. Here, the
Kierkegaardian pseudonyms are used as actual diagnosticians in an attempt to
break down the simplification, which holds that anxiety be either a condition or
an illness from which we must be cured. At the same time, the haufniencian diagnosis provides – parallel to Haufniensis’ revolt against the doctrine of
original sin – a revolt against the doctrine of diagnoses: that it is the sickness in me,
which acts on behalf of me.
4. The fourth diagnosis is distinguished from the former three by being fundamentally
upbuilding. Here, it is neither the diagnosis nor the diagnosed that
are addressed – but the neighbor. The unfulfillable demand is now directed to
each one of us and it demands that we help the other human being to stand
by himself – and that we should do so by seeing him as more than what the
diagnosis is able to see.
The four diagnoses each adopt an independent position, but they are to
be read dialectically as one diagnosis – in four perspectives. This Kierkegaardian
diagnosis does not provide an alternative to the diagnoses, but a critical and
persistent corrective. It provides a manner of thinking, which may be determined
‘applied Kierkegaard’.
Udgivelses stedKøbenhavn
ForlagPublikationer fra Det teologiske Fakultet
Antal sider252
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-933161-27-0
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-87-933161-28-7
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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