One may well ask if the notion of essence is not reinstated in the philosophy of Heidegger, and if Kierkegaard is not more consistent in his banishment of this notion.
Anguish is doubtless a particular experience, but through Anguish we arrive at the general conditions of existence, or what Heidegger calls “the Existentials.” In this respect the philosophy of Heidegger claims a further distinction from the philosophy of Kierkegaard, in that Kierkegaard always remains in the existential, whereas Heidegger attains Existentials, that is to say, the general characteristics of human existence.
The Concluding Unscientific Postscript is a huge and unwieldy book. In the recent Princeton edition it runs to 623 pages. It is quite wordy throughout and unorthodox in its overall presentation. This is nothing new to readers of Kierkegaard, who have come to expect his prolix and remarkable style, which began with his dissertation, The Concept of Irony. Either/Or is currently in print in two volumes, coming to roughly 800 pages in the Princeton Edition.
This article is the revised version of a lecture entitled “Difficulties in Defining the Concept of God—Kierkegaard and Jewish Philosophy of Religion” given at the conference Kierkegaard and the Conception of God in Contemporary Thought, which took place at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, on August 25–27, 2014.
The word "Concluding" has a two-fold meaning, since it refers both to the conclusion of the material first presented in Philosophical Fragments, and it was to be the conclusion of Kierkegaard's writing career, though in later years he would describe it as a turning point. As H. Hong points out, there is irony in calling this work a postscript to another work, when this is five times the size of the former. The term "unscientific" requires an explanation. Science refers to learning in general. Concerning existence itself, there can be no teacher except God. As a consequence, the work is not systematic. Kierkegaard's titles and chapter divisions in many of his works typify his idiosyncratic dialectic.
As part of his , inspired by and the , Kierkegaard's early work was written under various characters who present their own distinctive viewpoints and interact with each other in complex dialogue. He assigns pseudonyms to explore particular viewpoints in-depth, which may take up several books in some instances, and Kierkegaard, or another pseudonym, critiques that position. Thus, the task of discovering the meaning of his works is left to the reader, because "the task must be made difficult, for only the difficult inspires the noble-hearted". Subsequently, scholars have interpreted Kierkegaard variously as, among others, an , , , , and . Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, he is an influential figure in contemporary thought.
Kierkegaard led a somewhat uneventful life. He rarely left hishometown of Copenhagen, and travelled abroad only fivetimes—four times to Berlin and once to Sweden. His primerecreational activities were attending the theatre, walking thestreets of Copenhagen to chat with ordinary people, and taking briefcarriage jaunts into the surrounding countryside. He was educated at aprestigious boys’ school (Borgerdydskolen), thenattended Copenhagen University where he studied philosophy andtheology. His teachers at the university included F.C. Sibbern, PoulMartin Møller, and H.L. Martensen.
Mimical: Mime is the dramatic art of expressively imitating emotions and thoughts by actions and gestures, usually without words. Here "mimical" presumably can be interpreted as "poetically artistically elucidated" in such a way that the tone and form are appropriate to the content. It may also refer to a gathering of all the earlier "mimed" (pseudonymous) works as background material for this "concluding" work. Pathetical: ...the English "pathetic" is usually taken to mean "pitiful".... [but Kierkegaard means] "pathos-filled". Pathos marks the poet and his work, and in Postscript Kierkegaard is the poet's (Climacus's) poet. Dialectical: The dialectical marks the thinker. Climacus is a poetic philosopher.
One of the other answers rightly refers to Socrates' influence on Kierkegaard's philosophy here. Kierkegaard here is echoing the Socratic notion found in the "Crito" of know yourself. For Kierkegaard, the point of the claim truth is subjectivity is that anything that is true is true for a subject. In other words and in particular, if the Christian story is true, then it changes everything for the subject in a way that cannot be overlooked or erased.
In the Postscript Kierkegaard underscores the necessity of approaching truth subjectively. He does not deny objective truth, but asserts that objective truth can only be known and appropriated subjectively. Like the Philosophical Fragments, he lists himself as editor, again, showing the importance of the work. Philosophers like Kant, Hume and Hegel struggled with epistemological issues concerning the acquisition of knowledge based on reason versus empirical data. Sometimes philosophical methodology was applied to Christian theology (dogmatics). Kierkegaard maintained that knowledge through traditional means cannot begin to span the chasm of doubt between the individual person and God. One cannot amass proofs so that the object of faith becomes probable, as if the gap were nearly closed. No, the chasm is broad. The individual who approaches God must swim in water "70,000 fathoms" deep. Objective knowledge applies to the sciences. Subjective knowledge applies to the individual who approaches God. It is the truth he must live for, that he has made his own. But the subjective is not therefore arbitrary. Rather, the truth cannot come by standard means, but must be appropriated by the individual's entire being. From the beginning of the work, the subjective issue is stated.
Contrary to that answer, I wouldn't go so far as to say "Kierkegaard does not believe in 'objective truths.'" Instead, I would say Kierkegaard thinks it matters only secondarily whether something is objectively true, because what matters is that the subject accepts that it is true by living accordingly.
Kierkegaard contrasts the philosophical system because he asserts the truth of individual existence and subjectivity. Become subjective is the highest task that he assigned to men. “Subjectivity is thruth” is one of the most famous .