Studies in Phenomenology



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RADICAL DEMAND AND SPONTANEITY IN K. E. LØGSTRUP’S PHENOMENOLOGICAL ETHICS WITH CONTINUOUS REFERENCE TO S. KIERKEGAARD

Title in the language of publication: RADICAL DEMAND AND SPONTANEITY IN K. E. LØGSTRUP’S PHENOMENOLOGICAL ETHICS WITH CONTINUOUS REFERENCE TO S. KIERKEGAARD
Author: VELGA VĒVERE
Issue: HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology.
Vol. 10, №1 (2021), 123-139
Language: English
Document type: Research Article
DOI : 10.21638/2226-5260-2021-10-1-123-139 PDF (Downloads: 330)

Abstract
Danish philosopher and theologian Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905-1981) was professor of ethics and philosophy at the University of Aarhus. During his lifetime he published numerous books in phenomenology. In the context of the current article we should mention here Norm and Spontaneity, Art and Ethics and, the most significant, The Ethical Demand and Controverting Kierkegaard. The purpose of the current article is research the basic notions of his ontological ethics—the ethical imperative (radical, unspoken, one-sided and unfulfillable) and the sovereign expressions of life (trust, mercy, love, forgiveness, open speech, etc.). If the first one regards the demand for unselfish actions of the individual, then the second one –spontaneity and openness towards the other. In order to disclose these notions, the article confronts Løgstrup’s interpretation with Søren Kierkegaard’s (1813-1855) ethical stance, since the concept of sovereign expressions of life was offered to the reader in the book Controverting Kierkegaard. Løgstrup criticizes Kierkegaard for not paying attention to the real life phenomena and concentrating upon the solely religious self-reflection of the nuclear abstract individual. The article consists of introduction, two parts and conclusion. The introduction sets the stage for further investigation giving the historical background, tracing influences by the leading phenomenologists of the 20th century (a special role here is assigned to Hans Lipps, Martin Heidegger and Frederic Gogarten). The first part is devoted to the explication of the ethical imperative, while the second part—to the sovereign expressions of life and human interdependence. The research is summarized in the conclusion, stressing possibility to apply Løgstrup’s phenomenological approach in nursing and psychiatry.

Keywords
Knud Ejler Løgstrup, Søren Kierkegaard, ethical demand, sovereign expressions of life, spontaneity, interdependence.

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