Becoming human, becoming sober

Martin Matustik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Two themes run through Kierkegaard's authorship. The first defines existential requirements for "becoming human"-reflective honesty and earnest humor. The second demarcates the religious phenomena of sobriety when human becoming suffers insurmountable collisions. Living with existential pathos teaches the difference between the either/or logic of collisions and the both/and logic of development and transitions. There is a difference between self-transformation and a progressive individual and social development. In the developmental mode self experiences gradual progression or adaptive evolution; in the self-transformative mode self undergoes qualitative upsurges, leaps, gestalt switches, musical key transpositions of becoming in individual and social evolutions. Each individual in every epoch begins at the beginning. The author traces the movements of becoming in their parallel dimensions, drawing a fork through Kierkegaard's writing. The first leads through the existence spheres of his pseudonymous authorship. The second intensifies the movement on the spot and in the moment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-274
Number of pages26
JournalContinental Philosophy Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Becoming
  • Humanism
  • Kierkegaard
  • Moment
  • Radical evil
  • Redemptive critical theory
  • Sobriety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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