Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Religion and Philosophy

Title

Comparing Søren Kierkegaard and Feng Youlan on the search for the true self

Language

English

Abstract

This article attempts to compare the theories of life between Søren Kierkegaard and Feng Youlan. It will focus specifically on the identity of the self in Kierkegaard's "stages of life" and Feng's "realms of life" (rensheng jingjie). Whereas Kierkegaard subscribes doctrinally to the Christian understanding of the self and claims that the highest stage of life is achievable only for the God-centered self, Feng draws his insights from the Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist traditions, which, by imposing human values onto the universe, runs the danger of rendering the self the very center of the "great whole" (daquan ̈). Moving beyond a descriptive comparison, I will argue that the Kierkegaardian stage theory includes a critique of Feng's realm doctrine, the latter appearing to be overly idealistic, missing the dark side of the human essence so succinctly pointed out by former and, consequently, falls short of offering a more realistic description of the self. © 2013 Journal of Chinese Philosophy.

Publication Date

2013

Source Publication Title

Journal of Chinese Philosophy

Volume

40

Issue

1

Start Page

87

End Page

105

Publisher

Wiley

DOI

10.1111/1540-6253.12025

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1540-6253.12025

ISSN (print)

03018121

ISSN (electronic)

15406253

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS