Kierkegaard and me

From a note I wrote to the head of a program at the university in Aarhus in Denmark where I am bringing a number of students who will be undertaking an intensive course.

Funnily, I have always had a special fondness for Søren Kierkegaard since we both have the same initials, but also in many ways the same philosophy. The economics I teach is built around the notion that life is lived forward but understood backwards. Same with a business. You build forward into the future, but only know where you are at when it has all been put in place. It is all uncertainty at every step of the way.

We are now in Avignon, the permanent resting place of my favourite economist, John Stuart Mill. I am now composing in my head an article on Mill, Kierkegaard and existential philosophy. Mill was not just a contemporary of Kierkegaard’s, but also in many ways someone with the same set of philosophical ideas, although in a different area of thought. Anyway, it keeps me occupied.

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