The playlist above features roughly eight hours of video lectures on Søren Kierkegaard, the “father of existentialism.” They’re presented by Jon B. Stewart, currently a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and before that Associate Professor at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Center at the University of Copenhagen. You can watch them independently, or as part of an online course regularly offered by Coursera. Here’s the description for the course:
It is often claimed that relativism, subjectivism and nihilism are typically modern philosophical problems that emerge with the breakdown of traditional values, customs and ways of life. The result is the absence of meaning, the lapse of religious faith, and feeling of alienation that is so widespread in modernity.
The Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) gave one of the most penetrating analyses of this complex phenomenon of modernity. But somewhat surprisingly he seeks insight into it not in any modern thinker but rather in an ancient one, the Greek philosopher Socrates.
In this course created by former associate professor at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, Jon Stewart, we will explore how Kierkegaard deals with the problems associated with relativism, the lack of meaning and the undermining of religious faith that are typical of modern life. His penetrating analyses are still highly relevant today and have been seen as insightful for the leading figures of Existentialism, Post-Structuralism and Post-Modernism.