Either/Or (1843)

Kierkegaard wrote Either/Or soon after receiving his doctorate and breaking his engagement with Regine Olsen. The book has two parts: the first deals with the aesthetic, a word that Kierkegaard uses to denote personal, sensory experiences. The second part of Either/Or deals with ethics. In this part Kierkegaard discusses the merits of a social and morally proper life.

Either/Or is discussed in a one-section Summary & Analysis within the SparkNotes guide Selected Works of Søren Kierkegaard.

The Sickness Unto Death (1849)

The Sickness Unto Death offers one of the clearest and most concise statements of Kierkegaard’s views on religious faith. Presumably, Kierkegaard’s point with The Sickness Unto Death was to encourage us to pursue faith. Yet many readers feel that Kierkegaard leaves us with more questions than answers. As Kierkegaard repeatedly stresses, his vision of Christian faith defies rational understanding. What does it mean to have an individual relationship with God? How would we know if we have such a relationship? Kierkegaard cannot answer these questions. He can only urge us to pursue them on our own through introspective reflection. One of his last works, The Sickness Unto Death was written under the pseudonym “Anti-Climacus.”