Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement


Kant and Kierkegaard on Freedom and Evil

Alison Assitera1

University of the West of England

Kant and Kierkegaard are two philosophers who are not usually bracketed together. Yet, for one commentator, Ronald Green, in his book Kierkegaard and Kant: The Hidden Debt, a deep similarity between them is seen in the centrality both accord to the notion of freedom. Kierkegaard, for example, in one of his Journal entries, expresses a ‘passion’ for human freedom. Freedom is for Kierkegaard also linked to a paradox that lies at the heart of thought. In Philosophical Fragment Kierkegaard writes about the ‘paradox of thought’: ‘the paradox is the passion of thought […] the thinker without the paradox is like the lover without the passion.’

Alison Assiter is Professor of Feminist Theory in Philosophy at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She has published a number of books and articles on feminist philosophy and political philosophy, including Althusser and Feminism (Pluto Press 1990) and Enlightened Women (Routledge 1996). Recently she has been working on Kant and Kierkegaard and published a monograph, Kierkegaard, Metaphysics and Political Theory (Continuum 2009) and a co-edited volume, Kierkegaard and the Political (Cambridge Scholarly Press 2012).