By Morris Raphael. Cohen
Edited and with a foreword by means of Felix S. Cohen
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Extra resources for American Thought: A Critical Sketch
This very ‘moment’ exemplifies the fusion of eternity and time; 32 Kierkegaard it also signifies the inauguration of a new era where both the moment and eternity acquire an essentially different significance from paganism. This conception explains Kierkegaard’s critique of Plato’s treatment of the moment, since in his view until the emergence of Christianity eternity had a different and non-essential meaning. Kierkegaard’s treatment of Plato’s reference to the moment suggests that in Parmenides Plato remains at the level of abstraction – the Greek word + ´ was rendered as Augenblick (moment) in German in Schleiermacher’s translations of Plato (CA, p.
The very fact that in his thought moods serve as the criterion for the delimitation of each science strongly suggests that his whole discussion of the issue has an ironic dimension. Kierkegaard seems to be teasing his readers, confusing them with contradictory statements, such as criticizing Kant’s and Hegel’s attempts to develop systematic or ‘scientific’ philosophical systems on the one hand, and apparently attempting something similar himself on the other. This ironic dimension is certainly neither accidental nor a matter of literary style.
Sin qua possibility should therefore be captured as the gaze is fixed to the moment preceding the manifestation of sin: but this abiding something out of which sin constantly arises, not by necessity (for a becoming by necessity is a state, as, for example , the whole history of the plant is a state) but by freedom – this abiding something, this predisposing presupposition, sin’s real possibility, is a subject of interest for psychology. (CA, p. 21) Furthermore, it is argued that there is a qualitative difference that splits the ‘before’ and the ‘after’ of sin’s coming into existence, and therefore psychology is thought to ‘bring its concern to the point where it seems as if sin were there, but the next thing, that sin is there, is qualitatively different from the first’ (CA, p.