Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 3, No 4 (2014)

The Criticism of Hegelian Mediation in Kierkegaard's Second Volume of Enter-Eller (Either/Or). A Social Critique?

Eduardo Assalone


In the present paper we address the criticism of the Hegelian doctrine of mediation (Vermittlung) developed by Kierkegaard in the second volume of the book Enten-Eller (Either/Or). First we analyze the kind of opposition that Kierkegaard is not willing to relativize through the use of the dialectical mediation. For that purpose the contributions made by Shannon Nason to the understanding of relative opposites in Hegel and in Kierkegaard are applied. Next we indicate the place where the concept of mediation is located in Kierkegaard’s approach, namely, within the “sphere of thought”. Afterwards we approach Theodor W. Adorno’s criticism of the Kierkegaardian attempt to develop a “dialectics without mediation”. In the last section we approach both the criticism and the limitation of the concept of mediation made by Kierkegaard as well as the objections raised by Adorno against them. We also present some reflections on the criticism of mediation made by Kierkegaard and the young Marx as an expression of social critique which remains implicit in the former and that is explicit in the latter.