Talk:Søren Kierkegaard

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"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." is often (mis)attributed to Megadeth's singer Dave Mustaine, as this phrase appears frequently in the chorus of the song "Losing My Senses" on the album "The World Needs a Hero."

Quote from Kierkegaard Wikipedia article[edit]

In the lead paragraph in the Kierkegaard wikipedia article, there is a quote, "the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted". This quote comes from a book that I don't have access to, so I'm reluctant to add it here without verification. Could anyone check this out and add it if necessary? (I would sign this comment, but it seems that my WP account cannot be used here :/ )

—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
The quote you mentioned is accessible online through Google Book Search in Soren Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers Vol. 1 A-E (1967), edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, p. 303. It is now on the page. You are welcome to create an account here as well as at WIkipedia. Wikimedia accounts have not yet been converted into a single log-in system. ~ Kalki 18:52, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Widely attributed quote[edit]

Is there any truth that "People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought, which they avoid" or similar variants can be attributed to Kierkegaard? It is widely attributed to him. ~ 06:05, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

It appears in the beginning of Either/Or, but the translation I read had it in a much longer form... besides Kierkegaard was known for slight misquotation.
—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .
How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.
    • Either/Or Part I, Swenson Translation p. 19 11614soup (talk) 02:33, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Signed v. pseudonymous[edit]

Kierkegaard requested that the articles he wrote pseudonymously be attributed to his pseudonyms, not directly to him, as the views expressed therein are not necessarily his. I would recommend, accordingly, either that this be noted parenthetically next to each quote, or, better yet, that the page as a whole be sectionalized into "Signed" and "Pseudonymous" quotations (with perhaps a third section for unpublished writings, since these may belong to either, or neither, category). -Silence 20:51, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm just back from a brief excursion and don't have time to do much here right now — but I would recommend that his writings and quotes remain arranged chronologically, but any pseudonyms he used noted with the quote or the sections for the works he issued under these names. ~ Kalki 21:55, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Søren Kierkegaard. --Antiquary 20:07, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

  • Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
    • Variant: Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

It is part of a larger quotation, and was made by Dr Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan:

"Religion is not a movement stretching out to grasp something, external, tangible and good, and to pos- sess it. It is a form of being, not having, a mode of life. Spiritual life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced. It is new birth into enlightenment."

It can be found (along with the complete context) in the book "Genius - in Their Own Words: The Intellectual Journeys of Seven Great 20th Century Thinkers." by David Ramsay Steele - editor. Publisher: Open Court. Place of Publication: Chicago. Publication Year: 2002. Page Number: 159.

  • Man is not conscious of guilt because he sins, but sins because he is conscious of guilt.
  • Responsibility is the choice of freedom and that is no contradiction.
  • The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly one you can never have.
    • Variant: The most painful state of being is remembering the future, especially one which you know will never come.
  • Then comes affliction to awaken the dreamer.
  • Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.
  • Was it not your bliss that you could never love as much as you have been loved?

Merging Kierkegaard's Upbuilding Discourses of 1843[edit]

My goal was to present a few quotes from Kierkegaards Upbuilding Discourses. He wrote 18 upbuilding discourses altogether, 9 were published in 1843 and 9 were published in 1844. The first 9 discourses are over 170 pages long and the discourses of 1844 are over 220 pages long. I wanted them to have a section on wikiquote just for the discourses of 1843 and then another page for the discourses of 1844, just as Either/Or and Sickness Unto Death have their own pages for quotes. User talk:11614soup 11614soup 22:08, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


I don't really want to try and debate this, but I was blown away when I opened this article...; it's way too long to be a fitting Wikiquote "article" or "page" on significant, terse, and meaningful quotes.... - it should be a book. While I know there are many complex statements Kierkegaard made, and there are obviously some who would fight me viciously, I believe the article needs to be cut way down....

Thank you for your time and consideration, Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 08:56, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
And the article's a mess... There are repeated sections... There are even a few books that have big quotes from nearly every page!!
Peace and Passion ("I'm listening....") 08:56, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

This is currently our 17th longest article on the whole site. If you feel you can do some sensitive pruning, it would be most welcome.--Collingwood (talk) 13:00, 16 November 2012 (UTC)