Kierkegaard’s practice of edification: indirect communication, the virtues, and Christianity.
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Tietjen, Mark A.
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The ultimate aim of Kierkegaard's authorship is to build up his reader's character. Kierkegaard's signed, religious works suggest this reading, but some interpreters say that the more indirect, pseudonymous character of many of Kierkegaard’s works undermines such an interpretation. I argue against recent deconstructive interpretations of Kierkegaard’s indirect communication that would refute the character-building reading. These interpretations are based upon undialectical conceptions of indirect communication and uncharitable views of Kierkegaard's stated intentions. To demonstrate Kierkegaard's character-building interests, I consider his clarification of the virtue of faith in several of his most important pseudonymous writings. Finally, I consider some possible implications of Kierkegaard's methods for contemporary moral philosophy.