Søren Kierkegaard: A Free Online Course on the “Father of Existentialism”

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.

The lec­ture series is avail­able on YouTube. Or find them indexed in our col­lec­tion of 150 Free Phi­los­o­phy Cours­es, a sub­set of our meta col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Phi­los­o­phy of Kierkegaard, the First Exis­ten­tial­ist Philoso­pher, Revis­it­ed in 1984 Doc­u­men­tary

An Ani­mat­ed, Mon­ty Python-Style Intro­duc­tion to the Søren Kierkegaard, the First Exis­ten­tial­ist

Down­load Wal­ter Kaufmann’s Lec­tures on Niet­zsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre & Mod­ern Thought (1960)

Exis­ten­tial Phi­los­o­phy of Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus Explained with 8‑Bit Video Games

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