ABSTRACT

Søren Kierkegaard’s writings provide a variety of resources to those interested in debating the merits of living forever. His views on not only immortality, but also boredom and what makes life of any length worth living are especially helpful in combatting naysayers like Bernard Williams. From the famous early crop rotation analogy to various later claims about perpetual progress and the cultivation of responsible selfhood, Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms appear open to immortality. However, Kierkegaard’s full potential for contribution on this topic has not always been properly understood. On the analytic side of things, John Martin Fischer’s attention was the catalyst for Kierkegaard’s involvement in this debate, and, more recently, continental philosophers like Iain Thomson and Mark Wrathall have offered increasingly nuanced analyses of what Kierkegaard is up to. Considering all this work together in one place makes it possible to correct certain inaccuracies and present a more coherent account of Kierkegaard’s views. Even if he (who does not take up the question of the desirability of immortality in precisely the same sense as Williams) comes down on neither side of the debate unequivocally, he clearly leans more in one direction than the other.