Accessible Kierkegaard. An oxymoron, right?
Maybe not. This book is published by The School of Life, an educational initiative founded by Alain de Botton to teach one to live well. It’s part of a series on applying the philosophy of famous thinkers to everyday life.
Robert Ferguson explains key tenants of Kierkegaard and their daily relevance, quoting pertinent passages. Kierkegaard is not the sexiest of philosophers: he grapples with fate, suffering, death, and religion. But interesting- his deep, dark Danish thinking is bleak but compelling.
There’s a ‘Homework’ section at the back, post-reading. Some is silly and trite (‘Listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Man of the World and consider this’), but it’s a nice idea to get people to read actively and in relation to writers like Ibsen and other culture.
Of course you could read Kierkegaard in the original. But if you haven’t got time, why not get someone else to pick out the good bits for you?
That’s where this concept stands or falls. It’s Kierkegaard through the lens of someone else. Luckily I like Ferguson’s novelistic style- personal and relatable. A little simplistic but already a 200% increase on what I knew about Søren.
Next up, Freud…
Read: To think a little differently. Or just for some philosophy-lite to quote.