‘For Better, For Worse.’ Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard on Philosophy, Love and Marriage

Anne-Marie S. Christensen


We know that Wittgenstein was familiar with Kierkegaard’s writings. In his diaries of 1931, Wittgenstein comments extensively on Kierkegaard’s writings, especially on Kierkegaard’s view of religion and of philosophical method. However, Wittgenstein also makes a couple of remarks regarding Kierkegaard’s view of love; remarks which are integrated into his reflections on philosophical method and which mark a distinct difference between Wittgenstein’s view and that of Kierkegaard. The starting point of this talk is a rather uncontroversial view of the similarities between Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard’s view of philosophy, but the main aim is to understand Wittgenstein’s objection to Kierkegaard’s view of love, especially with regard to the relationship with the loved one, and to explore what we may learn about Wittgenstein’s own philosophical method from his critique of Kierkegaard.


philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; 20th century philosophy; Kierkegaard Søren; Cavell Stanley; love; marriage; relationship; self-understanding

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