The Duty of a Philosopher

Out of love for mankind, and out of despair at my embarrassing situation, seeing that I had accomplished nothing and was unable to make anything easier than it had already been made, and moved by a genuine interest in those who are dedicated to making everything easy, I conceived it as my task [the task of the philosopher] to create difficulties everywhere.

Søren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript


I began reading Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling yesterday. It didn’t take long for me to recall what my friend Riley Ross said about Kierkegaard: “Don’t read Kierkegaard in the bathroom; you can’t concentrate on either job.”