Deleuze on Løgstrup

Thanks to a tip-off from Brian Tee, I have come across this brief review by Deleuze of Løgstrup’s 1950 lectures on Kierkegaard and Heidegger (my translation). The review comes from fairly early in Deleuze’s career, and is one of several he contributed to the journal, so the fact he wrote it doesn’t suggest he engaged with Løgstrup particularly closely – but it is still interesting to see what he made of Løgstrup’s lectures, and he provides a pretty accurate summary of their main themes.

Gilles Deleuze, review of K. E. Løgstrup, Kierkegaards und Heideggers Existenzanalyse und ihr Verhältnis zur Verkündigung (Erich Blaschker Verlag, 128 pages)

in Revue philosophique de France et de l’étranger, 143 (1953), pp. 108-109

The author has published the lectures that were delivered in Berlin in 1950. The first five develop the ideas of Kierkegaard and Heidegger respectively, while indicating the differences between the two philosophers. The two philosophers both speak about life in the crowd, of life ‘within the crowd’. But for Kierkegaard, this life in the crowd is identical with metaphysical speculation: the latter dissolves the poles of the Good and the Bad into the necessary; the former, into the conventional. There is another difference [between the two philosophers]: for Heidegger, the human being puts his own existence into question in anxiety and in death, the self is recalled to being from out of the crowd in order to live face to face with its own death; but according to Kierkegaard, the human being puts his own existence into question in grasping that it is not simple cognition that will raise him up. Both recognize that there is a negativity at the basis of the becoming of existence; but, for Heidegger, it appears because individual existence is powerless in the face of anxiety and death, while for Kierkegaard it is because the human being lives outside the infinite and eternal, which, alone, constitutes me as an I, as spirit. At the end of this analysis, Løgstrup takes up his own position. The essential objection which he makes to Kierkegaard, and in which he sees the principal difficulty that is raised by a relation between philosophy and revelation, is that the infinite demand is without relation itself to the moral or juridical demand that its role is to ground.

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