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PHL 366 Lecture Notes - Tragic Hero, Jephthah

Course Code
PHL 366
Mark Clamen

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Philosophy 366 September 24th
In reference to the lad and the princess, Kierkegaard’s advice is to move on, based on the idea that
loving without being loved back is a waste of time. There is someone out there who will gladly be the
receiver and the receptor of love.
The lad is specifically in love with HER not the “idea” of love. He would rather be alone with this
impossible love then to pretend to love. In his eyes, he believes that happiness will only be attained
through being with her.
He concentrates all of his substance of his life into one single desire. Although, he knows the love is
impossible. The lad must take his love and give it onto the heavens.
As years go by, his heart is complete because he had accepted that he could never get her. The princess
is lost to him, but the love is timeless and infinite.
(Exordium) In relation to Abraham and Isaac, in order for Abraham to proceed with the sacrifice, he
must give up the love he has for his son. He was able to transcend the love of Isaac beyond the physical
being that is Isaac. Though Isaac lives, he is killed in spirit because Abraham had already accepted Isaac
as “dead”.
How do you ever get back to the world if you have already accepted death or accepted the ability to kill?
“Faith begins precisely where thought stops”
1. Slaves of finitude- expect the possible, scope out the world and take what they are good at and
essentially “win”, they conquer the world in a sense. They play by the rules and gain “fame”.
2. Knight of infinity/infinite resignation- people who might be never unhappy, (ex: monk), because they
will know what to focus on in the world, but may never be happy. The knight of faith is happy whereas
the knight of infinity is merely satisfied.
Strength is required to give up the world, but what does it take to get it back, if not strength?

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September 25th (continuation)
The story of Abraham is not a test of faith but a ‘being’ of faith
1. Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical?
2. Is there an absolute duty of god?
3. Was it ethically defensible for Abraham to conceal his undertaking from Sarah, from Eliezer, from
Faith is not the crazy actions, but a way of living in the world. In reference to the idea that Abraham has
to live with his son after he has already accepted the idea of killing him
God is the idea of good, god is when we welcome a stranger into our house, when we feed the hungry.
God is the name for that morality.
The “double movement” of faith
1.relenquishing the whole of one heart’s desire
2.receiving it back
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