Soren Kierkegaard was one of the most important European philosophers of the nineteenth-century and is widely regarded as the founder of existentialism. His work had a profound influence on some of the main intellectual currents of the last two centuries. Clearly and thematically structured, with investigations into a host of Kierkegaards key concepts-including 'immediacy, 'sin, 'despair, 'individuality and 'the crowd-and with references to a wide range of his works, Starting with Kierkegaard provides the reader with a balanced overview of the Danish philosophers project, paying as much attention to the signed 'edifying works as to the famous authorship of the pseudonyms. Starting with Kierkegaard also offers a short survey of the historical, biographical and philosophical context of Kierkegaards ideas as they started to take shape in the 1830s. The book closes with a discussion of Kierkegaard and society, and of his continuing relevance to today. Starting with Kierkegaard is the ideal introduction for anyone coming to the work of this hugely important thinker for the first time.
Patrick Sheil has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, UK. His publications include Kierkegaard and Levinas (forthcoming 2008, Ashgate).