'Alas, I Was Never Young': Kierkegaard's Philosophy Of Existence

Course details

From £205.00
10 CATS points

08 Apr 2019 - 01 Jul 2019
Day of week

'Alas, I Was Never Young': Kierkegaard's Philosophy Of Existence


Kierkegaard's place in the philosophical and theological canon of contemporary thought is an esteemed one. Celebrated for his work on subjectivity and the self, the extent of Kierkegaard's influence has seen him credited with being the 'father' of existentialism and also a great contributor to theological debates concerning faith and transcendence. 

Kierkegaard's preference for writing his philosophical works through pseudonyms has occasionally baffled his contemporaries but actually says a great deal about his thinking; that his life and his method are as important in trying to understand him as reading the corpus of his work.  This course is intended to provide students with a comprehensive study of the work of this fascinating and enigmatic man.

Programme details

Term Starts: 8th April

No classes -  22/04, 6/05, 27/05

Week 1:          Influences on Kierkegaard: Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel

Week 2:          A Kierkegaardian biography and the reaction to Hegel

Week 3:          Pseudonymity and 'deceiving' into the truth: Either/Or

Week 4:          Making sense of Fear and Trembling

Week 5:          Revisiting Schelling in The Concept of Anxiety

Week 6:          Kierkegaard as a religious author

Week 7:          The self as 'infinite becoming' and 'ethical subjectivity'

Week 8:          Anti-Climacus

Week 9:          Is 'The Point of View…' autobiographical?

Week 10:        Kierkegaard's influence on existentialism


Background Reading

Eds. Hong and Hong., The Essential Kierkegaard

Carlisle, C., Kierkegaard: A Guide for the Perplexed

Kierkegaard, S., Fear and Trembling

Lippitt, J., The Routledge Guide to Kierkegaard and Fear and Trembling

Hannay, A., Kierkegaard

If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.

If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September and we will try to ensure that as many titles as possible are available in the Library by the start of each term. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.

Recommended reading

All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information. 

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.

Recommended Reading List


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Course fee: £205.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00


Dr Magnus Moar

Magnus Moar is a graduate of Oxford and Sussex Universities with a doctoral thesis focussing on the work of Kierkegaard.  Magnus has a published article on Kierkegaard and Levinas and has been teaching undergraduates for fifteen years.

Course aims

To teach students the key elements of Kierkegaard's life and philosophy and establish his relationship to existentialism and German Idealism.

Course Objectives

1. To teach the key aspects of Kierkegaard's philosophy and theology across the body of his major works.

2. To situate Kierkegaard appropriately in the context of German Idealism and existentialism.

3. To demonstrate Kierkegaard's relevance to philosophical thought today.

Teaching methods

The sessions will be in a seminar format including both presentation of the key ideas and open discussion based around short extracts and articles.  Students will have the opportunity, if they wish, to give a short presentation as a part of their portfolio assessment.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. Possess a solid grasp of Kierkegaard's philosophical thought.

2. Develop their critical and analytical skills through the reading, the portfolio and the sessions.

3. Enable a keener sense of inter-communication through group discussion.

Assessment methods

Students have the choice of either a portfolio (max. 3 elements) or the 1,500 word essay.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)