"Ne quid nimis" : Kierkegaard en de deugd van de matigheid"Ne quid nimis" : Kierkegaard en de deugd van de matigheid
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Center for Ethics
Tijdschrift voor philosophie. - Leuven, 1939 - 1961
75(2013):3, p. 455-485
University of Antwerp
In this article, I argue that, despite Kierkegaards seemingly harsh critique of temperance, it plays a crucial role in his ethics developed under the pseudonym of Anti-Climacus in The Sickness unto Death and Practice in Christianity. Anti-Climacus, following Socrates in the Philebus, thinks of the good life as mixed, in which the different and opposed dimensions of human existence, peras and apeiron, are in due proportion. In Anti-Climacuss ethics, the process of realizing the mixed life does not, contra the Socratic conception, involve reason restricting desire but instead, the will (infused with self-knowledge) grounding imagination in the facticity of human existence. It is through this process of perfection that we are able to imitate Christ, which is how Anti-Climacus ultimately understands the good life. Moreover, I suggest that we could understand this temperance as a virtue. In the conclusion, I show that Kierkegaards apparent critique of temperance is actually a critique of mediocrity.