Aesthetic Life In Either/Or The Term Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Business - Ethics Type: Term Paper Paper: #93841417 Related Topics: Aesthetics, Norms, Happiness, End Of Life
Excerpt from Term Paper :

It only remains to see how this goal may be reached -- and Kierkagaard's book on aesthetics ends with the love letter from Climacus to Cordelia, in which we learn the true approximation of life and the simple path to the aesthetic goal (a path which Don Giovanni misses): "love is everything" (p. 407).

Kierkagaard states, "For one who loves everything ceases to have intrinsic meaning and has meaning only through the interpretation love gives to it" (p. 407). Cordelia is the object of Climacus' romantic love -- but this constitutive norm may also be applied to spiritual or religious love. At any rate, it is the latter that is only briefly touched upon in Either/Or -- and yet it is this that makes either the aesthetic life or the ethical life insufficient in and of themselves. In fact, even though the two ways must necessarily be coupled together, it is the religious love, which Kiergagaard intimates, that truly contains the object-goal to happiness. Religious love is immortal and lasts into eternity; earthly and aesthetic and/or ethical love is mortal and dies with the last breath. If Solon said, "call no man happy till he is dead," his reason was because then he would know whether he had lived sufficiently well to merit Heaven or insufficiently and merited Hell (like Don Giovanni).

This line of thinking can also help explain the rather unhappy sentiment embodied by the following statement: "Marry, and you will regret it. Do not marry, and you will also regret it. Marry or do not marry, you will regret it either way" (p. 38). How can one's aesthetics or one's ethics possibly lead one to happiness when the summation, here, is that either/or will leave you unfulfilled and full of regret? What then may one conclude about the aesthetic life? It is insufficient because it cannot answer for the entire mystery of man. If man were merely a consumer, or an animal, or a biological machine; i.e. devoid of spirit, it may hold true that the aesthetical life view held the key to happiness (as long as it was exercised with restraint). However, if we take into consideration this spiritual element, we are left with a number of questions and concerns, which Kierkagaard attempts to take up in his later works. But as he implies at the end of Either/Or, when one views ones actions in the light of God, they cannot help but appear as vanity.

Finding the "Right Desire"

"Only when there is desire is there an object," says Kierkagaard. "The desire and the object are twins" (p. 80). Finding the correct object to desire is the essence of Aristotle's "right desire," and education, prayer, and reflection offer the best avenues to establishing "right desire." Indeed, the institutionalization of religion appears to be the crux at the heart of the matter -- for if God did indeed become Incarnate and establish for men an object (union with Him in Heaven) for which to strive, then it must follow that He left on car so long as he does not derail from the track laid out by his God to Heaven. Likewise, his ethical training may incline him all the more to embrace the religious life -- if we concur with Kierkagaard in this respect, we find that our world has suddenly opened up to us. We are no longer limited by the fences of ethics or by the finite qualities of pleasure: we have now a world that is above our own. We may strive as Plato's philosopher to leave the cave of shadows and climb up the mountain of truth in search of greater union with the divine.

Here, within the religious parameters, Kierkagaard's Judge may be reconciled with Kierkagaard's A or his Climacus. The aesthete and the man of ethics can embrace for they are united under one roof: here one may sing with Beethoven the "Ode to Joy," which Schiller penned as he gazed up at the same Heaven, for here one may finally place his hope and his heaven in a principle of transcendence -- something that is above. The aesthete may take pleasure in what is here below, but expecting to find fulfillment in that pleasure will mislead him to Hell, just as it does Don Giovanni. Likewise, the man of ethics may make judgments concerning the correctness of behavior, but even he has no hope of fulfillment unless it is found in a higher sphere. The higher sphere is where the promise lies.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the aesthetic (and ethical) life depends upon maintaining the "right desire" -- and as desire is synonymous with its object (as Kierkagaard states), the object must be of sufficient worth that it can provide that which it promises -- in other words, fulfillment of desire. Now as there is a difference between earthly (or finite) desire and spiritual (or infinite) desire, one must be sure to acknowledge the fact that infinite desire must take an infinite object -- Heaven -- or else, as Mozart shows, he will find himself somewhere he does not wish to be. Thus, Kierkagaard's aesthete is limited in his desire for happiness, unless he takes into account the infinite.

Reference List

Kierkagaard, S. (1987).…

Sources Used in Documents:

Reference List

Kierkagaard, S. (1987). Either/Or. Princeton University Press.


Cite this Document:

"Aesthetic Life In Either Or The" (2011, October 22) Retrieved October 23, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/aesthetic-life-in-either-or-the-46750

"Aesthetic Life In Either Or The" 22 October 2011. Web.23 October. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/aesthetic-life-in-either-or-the-46750>

"Aesthetic Life In Either Or The", 22 October 2011, Accessed.23 October. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/aesthetic-life-in-either-or-the-46750

Related Documents
Life After Death
Words: 6235 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Mythology - Religion Paper #: 90614141

Life After Death Introduction classical point of departure in defining Death seems to be Life itself. Death is perceived either as a cessation of Life - or as a "transit area," on the way to a continuation of Life by other means. While the former presents a disjunction, the latter is a continuum, Death being nothing but a corridor into another plane of existence (the hereafter). A logically more rigorous approach

Aesthetic of Beauty One of the Most
Words: 807 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy Paper #: 49485848

Aesthetic of Beauty One of the most powerful passages found within Plato's The Republic is that which exists within the Allegory of the Cave. This passage comes near the end of this book and its description about the philosopher kings -- the chosen guardians who are to rule mankind with benign wisdom. Essentially, the Allegory of the Cave is about the notion that there is an intrinsic relationship between goodness and

Aesthetic Response to the Mona
Words: 401 Length: 1 Pages Topic: Art  (general) Paper #: 16962018

Pioch also comments on the delicate and gradual blending and dissolving of the painting's colors and figures, which da Vinci achieved with the sfumato technique. An interesting fact of da Vinci's life and attitude towards painting is provided in a biography of the artist by Antonina Vallentin: "Leonardo himself knew that masterpieces are born of [his] fear and doubting." Apparently almost crippled with fear at the start of a new

Aesthetic Education
Words: 1112 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 47633222

Aesthetic Education: Book Review of Maxine Greene's Lectures encompassed in her Variations on a Blue Guitar. The paper that follows is an overview of the style, content, and core philosophy of one of the seminal works on arts education during the 1980's by one of the seminal educational theorists of the late 20th century, Maxine Greene. This review of Variations on a Blue Guitar consists of three sections, first a report on

Aesthetic and Religious Significance of
Words: 1057 Length: 4 Pages Topic: History - Asian Paper #: 359250

"Over the course of time, there will be a new world era entailing that one day there will a dawn after destruction. This system for the earth continues throughout eternity and is managed by three gods: Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu or the divine trinity." (Eck, 1996) of these, Shiva was or is the destroyer. The Hindu divinities are worshipped through art on temples and in the majority of homes.

Esthetics Skincare Scholarship
Words: 1308 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Education Paper #: 45824291

Esthetics scholarship application “why is professional skincare my passion" The skincare profession, at one time, thrived on mysteriousness. ‘Facialists’, ‘estheticians’ and other specialists in this field guarded their secrets well. Mystery ingredients were used on customers’ skin, with authentic ritual authority, and customers were ordered to come back from time to time to ensure long-term results. This age was characterized by intensely-perfumed creams, flashy gold-and-pink packages, and an abundance of brands with French-sounding