Loneliness and innocence

a Kierkegaardian reflection on the paradox of self-realization

Patricia Huntington

pp. 415-433

In this paper, I explore loneliness as a primordial call to find accord with the self that, as Kierkegaard claims, is born of spirit. I put Kierkegaard's Anti-Climacan formula, "the more consciousness, the more self," to work by examining lamentation over loss of the innocent days of youth as symptomatic of primordial loneliness. In loneliness, I argue, we confound loss of naivete (a developmental change) with loss of innocence (a spiritual failing). While each person is fated to lose naivete, no person loses innocence by developmental necessity. Each person loses innocence by his or her own hand in freedom.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-006-9035-0

Full citation:

Huntington, P. (2006). Loneliness and innocence: a Kierkegaardian reflection on the paradox of self-realization. Continental Philosophy Review 39 (4), pp. 415-433.

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