Søren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855) Birth name: Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher.
He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony, and parables. Much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a “single individual”, giving priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking and highlighting the importance of personal choice and commitment. He was against literary critics who defined idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, and thought that Swedenborg, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Schlegel, and Hans Christian Andersen were all “understood” far too quickly by “scholars”.
“Life Can Only Be Understood Backwards, But It Must Be Lived Forwards.”
– Søren Kierkegaard