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Kierkegaard For Beginners Paperback – August 21, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Kierkegaard is difficult to understand, partly because his thought system is complex, but also because he often chose to write in what Palmer calls a "parable" format, for example espousing his views on the "aesthetic" stage by writing pseudonymous pieces in the aesthetic voice. Palmer clearly explains this device while simultaneously explaining the major tenets illuminated by the device, no mean feat of summarizing in so brief a space. He pretty well does the same with most of Kierkegaard's major ideas, which is exactly what you would hope for from a book like this.
My quarrel with the book is with the illustrations and some insufficient treatment of some key ideas. The illustrations are many, they are not funny or helpful, they are distracting, patronizing and annoying. And they take up space that would have been better spent explaining more fully some points that are not made sufficiently clear. I would include most notably in the latter category a more lucid explanation of Kierkegaard's views of the subjective and objective realms and just exactly why (instead of merely that) Kierkegaard maintains that life is only fully lived when its tenuousness, or emptiness, is realized. This idea is an important link with eastern philosophies and was first introduced into Western thought by Kierkegaard.Read more ›
"Kierkegaard For Beginners" was my answer. Using a cartoon format laced with humor this book takes the most complex philosopher and makes his life and works accessible to the general reader. One must remember that this is not an introductory text book on Kierkegaard's philosophy nor does it go into a deep analysis of his work. It covers the broad spectrum of his works without "dummying down" the thinker's ideas. Of course this isn't a substitute for reading the original works but it certainly puts you in touch with the major ideas of Kierkegaard that will motivate you to learn more about him. I highly recommend this book for high school students ( Do they take philosophy in high school any more?) and those in undergraduate classes of philosophy on the introductory level. It is a great supplementary work in making a great man's ideas accessible to students. And besides, it is fun and makes Kierkegaard a pleasure to study.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Material was interesting but if I wanted a graphic novel I would have gone to the comic book store... Read morePublished 1 month ago by D. P.
I purchased the Kindle edition of this book and found two typos in the first few pages, so I got a refund. Read morePublished on July 23, 2014 by facedog99
I am a big fan of the "For Beginners" series. I own a number of titles in the series and believe that they provide excellent introductory information on complex subjects. Read morePublished on October 21, 2012 by Morris Flynn
I did my college thesis 40 years ago on his philosophy and this was a superb summary with a little humor thrown in to keep your interest as to an intense man with intense thoughtsPublished on September 1, 2012 by Mark F
The "For Beginners" series provides much towards understanding basic concepts of major thinkers. I own a few these books. Read morePublished on July 25, 2011 by Steve
Kierkegaard is so paradoxical and self-contradictary that he defies most attempts at comprehension. We are (or I am) left wondering whether we are just too stupid to understand... Read morePublished on September 3, 2008 by D. P. Birkett
Amusing, thoughtful summary of Kierkegaard's major tenets. I love images and the cartoons are just the thing to help the author get Kierkegaard's point across. Read morePublished on July 3, 2008 by Catholic priest
Written with humor and very concisely. I love the pictures (comics) Donald Palmer did a great job of introducing Kierkegaard and his philosophy to the masses.Published on September 24, 2006 by Curious reader