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  • The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin, is a philosophical work written by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1844. The original 1944 English translation by Walter Lowrie, had the title The Concept of Dread Kierkegaard dedicated almost all of his Upbuilding Discourses to his father. The Concept of Anxiety was dedicated "to the late professor Poul Martin Møller". He used the pseudonym Vigilius Haufniensis, which, according to Kierkegaard scholar Josiah Thompson, is the Latin transcription for “the Watchman" of Copenhagen for The Concept of Anxiety. All of Kierkegaard's books have either a preface, dedication, or prayer at the beginning. This book includes a lengthy introduction. The Concept of Anxiety was published on exactly the same date as Prefaces, June 17, 1844. Both books deal with Hegel’s idea of mediation. Mediation is a common thread throughout Kierkegaard’s works. His work up to this point was to show that faith was being mediated by knowledge. Here he takes up the questions of sin and guilt. For Kierkegaard, anxiety/dread/angst is unfocused fear. Kierkegaard uses the example of a man standing on the edge of a tall building or cliff. When the man looks over the edge, he experiences a focused fear of falling, but at the same time, the man feels a terrifying impulse to throw himself intentionally off the edge. That experience is anxiety or dread because of our complete freedom to choose to either throw oneself off or to stay put. The mere fact that one has the possibility and freedom to do something, even the most terrifying of possibilities, triggers immense feelings of dread. Kierkegaard called this our "dizziness of freedom." Wikipedia

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