The problem of spontaneous goodness: from Kierkegaard to Løgstrup (via Zhuangzi and Eckhart)

Stokes, Patrick 2016, The problem of spontaneous goodness: from Kierkegaard to Løgstrup (via Zhuangzi and Eckhart), Continental philosophy review, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 139-159, doi: 10.1007/s11007-016-9377-1.

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Title The problem of spontaneous goodness: from Kierkegaard to Løgstrup (via Zhuangzi and Eckhart)
Author(s) Stokes, PatrickORCID iD for Stokes, Patrick
Journal name Continental philosophy review
Volume number 49
Issue number 2
Start page 139
End page 159
Total pages 21
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1387-2842
Keyword(s) Kierkegaard
Summary Historically, Western philosophy has struggled to accommodate, or has simply denied, the moral value of spontaneous, non-reflective action. One important exception is in the work of K.E. Løgstrup, whose phenomenological ethics involves a claim that the ‘ethical demand’ of care for the other can only be realized through spontaneous assent to ‘sovereign expressions of life’ such as trust and mercy. Løgstrup attacks Kierkegaard for devaluing spontaneous moral action, but as I argue, Kierkegaard too offers an implicit view of spontaneous moral response (‘second immediacy’) as a regulative ideal. In attempting to articulate the model of character-formation that such an ethics requires, we can see both Løgstrup and Kierkegaard as engaging with an ancient problematic, running from Classical Daoism to medieval mysticism, of achieving spontaneity through purgation rather than edification—not building the subject up, but demolishing personality in order to become a conduit for a transcendent normativity.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11007-016-9377-1
Field of Research 220305 Ethical Theory
220310 Phenomenology
2203 Philosophy
1606 Political Science
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID None
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer Science + Business Media Dordrecht
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