Georgios Patios

Kierkegaard’s Construction of the Human Self

18/1 - Spring 2013, pages 37-47
Date of online publication: 10 December 2013
Date of publication: 10 December 2013


The purpose of this article is to analyze Kierkegaard’s philosophical views concerning the problem of the nature of the human self. With the help of a close examination of Kierkegaard’s texts The Concept of Anxiety and The Sickness unto Death, we argue that Kierkegaard “constructs” the human self in a specific way. This way reveals, through the examination by Kierkegaard of “anxiety” and “despair,” three main characteristics of the human self: a) the self is a dynamic process, always “becoming” in time through free will and freedom of choice, b) the human self is always a historical self, so that history is then a direct product of “becoming a self,” and c) the human self, in order to be “whole,” must freely ground itself in a transcendental being (God).


Cite this article

Patios, Georgios. “Kierkegaard’s Construction of the Human Self.” Forum Philosophicum 18, no. 1 (2013): 37–47. doi:10.35765/forphil.2013.1801.03.


Evans, C. Stephen. Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2006.

Kierkegaard, Søren. The Concept of Anxiety. Translated by Reidar Thomte and Albert B. Anderson. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

Kierkegaard, Søren. The Sickness unto Death. Translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.

Lubcke, Poul. “Freedom and Morality.” In Kierkegaard and Freedom, edited by James Giles, 93–105. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.

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