This article explains Kierkegaard’s notion of experimenting psychology and places it within the context of 18th century German rational, empirical, and transcendental psychology, 19th century Danish psychology, and 20th century existential psychology. In his experimenting psychology Kierkegaard finds or constructs instantiations of universal psychological forms, such as anxiety, guilt, and despair. He then combines psychological and anthropological perspectives by situating these instantiations of psychological forms in the lives of existential types, which the reader can take as exemplars and towards which the reader can freely comport herself. Kierkegaard’s unique response to the problems encountered by alternative approaches to psychology enables him to include both subjective and objective perspectives while avoiding the problems of ‘reflection philosophy’ and what Foucault called the ‘empirico-transcendental doublet,’ a fundamental methodological problem, which arose from Kant’s conflation of anthropology and transcendental psychology and plagued the post-Kantian human sciences, including psychology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)