Essay: The Concept of Anxiety by Kierkegaard

Sample Essay

Words 1,430

This essay discusses the concept of anxiety by Kierkegaard. In Chapter 5 of the Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard defines anxiety as “freedom’s possibility”  (Kierkegaard 156).  In other words, man, since he is free and aware of possibilities, anxiety is part, of the human experience.

In Chapter 5 of the Concept of Anxiety, Kierkegaard defines anxiety as “freedom’s possibility”  (Kierkegaard 156).  In other words, man, since he is free and aware of possibilities, anxiety is part, of the human experience.  The anxiety that he is speaking about is not “anxiety of finitude” (Kierkegaard 161) the normal run-of-the mill anxiety that someone would feel if, say, they lost their job, but rather, it is an all-encompassing anxiety and doubt not linked to external events.  Such anxiety “is educative because it consumes all finite ends and discover their deception.” (Kierkegaard 156)

Kierkegaard, in his notes, uses the concept of Adam to illustrate the concept of infinite freedom Adam probably never thought about eating the fruit of knowledge until he was prohibited from doing so. At the moment Adam was commanded not to eat the fruit, he realized he could eat the fruit and it might even be worth eating. The Creator, knowing human nature so well, must have known temptation was a strong force. Why then did the Creator give man a test Adam was almost certain to fail? Was Adam meant to fail in order to allow human development?

Adam realized not eating the fruit of knowledge would keep him from being more like the Creator, who possessed knowledge. Eating the fruit was certain to anger the Creator. Adam made a choice — regardless of any external force, the choice was really his and his alone. Adam could have refused Eve and the serpent had he wanted. We always have choices, no matter what we might use as an excuse.

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