Faculty Advisor

Beardsley, William

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2019


This paper tracks the philosophies of love (and correspondingly, despair) in Søren Kierkegaard’s Either/Or and Fear and Trembling. Both were published pseudonymously in 1843 and detail the existential perspectives of Kierkegaard’s famous three life spheres: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious. Each pseudonym discusses the categories of love and despair at length. By analyzing these three perspectives, the dialectics between the modes of existence illuminates itself and the messages and philosophy of each perspective wrestles with its counterparts. It is through this illumination of conflict that meaning and choice, in an existential sense, are born. This paper is meant to be an introduction to this dialectic in Kierkegaard’s early aesthetic works, focusing on the topics of love and despair.




University of Puget Sound