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Søren Kierkegaard

Søren KierkegaardAKA Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Born: 5-May-1813
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: 11-Nov-1855
Location of death: Copenhagen, Denmark
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, Denmark

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Philosopher

Nationality: Denmark
Executive summary: Father of existentialism

Danish philosopher, the seventh child of a Jutland hosier, born in Copenhagen on the 5th of May 1813. As a boy he was delicate, precocious and morbid in temperament. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen, where he graduated in 1840 with a treatise On Irony. For two years he travelled in Germany, and in 1842 settled finally in Copenhagen, where he died on the 11th of November 1855. He had lived in studious retirement, subject to physical suffering and mental depression. His first volume, Papers of a Still Living Man (1838), a characterization of Hans Christian Andersen, was a failure, and he was for some time unnoticed. In 1843 he published Euten-Eller (Either/or), the work on which his reputation mainly rests; it is a discussion of the ethical and aesthetic ideas of life. By this he is known as the "Father of Existentialism." In his last years he carried on a feverish agitation against the theology and practice of the state church, on the ground that religion is for the individual soul, and is to be separated absolutely from the state and the world. In general his philosophy was a reaction against the speculative thinkers -- Steffens, Niels Treschow (1751-1833) and Frederik Christian Sibbern (1785-1872); it was based on the absolute dualism of Faith and Knowledge. His chief follower was Rasmus Nielsen (1809-1884) and he was opposed by Georg Brandes, who wrote a brilliant account of his life and works. As a dialectician he has been described as little inferior to Plato, and his influence on the literature of Denmark is considerable both in style and in matter. To him Henrik Ibsen owed his character Brand in the drama of that name.

Father: Michael Pedersen Kierkegaard (d. 9-Aug-1838)
Mother: Anne Sørensdatter Lund Kierkegaard (d. 1834)
Brother: Peter (older)
Girlfriend: Regine Olsen (broken engagement)

    University: University of Copenhagen (1841)

    Risk Factors: Depression

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