Translation of Works by Kierkegaard 1838-1844

Principal Investigator:

José Miranda Justo

Funding Institution: FCT
Date: 2010-2013


FCT Project PTDC/FIL-FIL/100281/2008 This project started in January 2010 and ended in July 2013. The primary aim was to publish a set of works by the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) in Portuguese translations from the original Danish text, with notes and introduction; and also, to hold workshops and conferences by international experts, open to the research team, consultants, Research Unit members and students. The chosen works were: From the Papers of One still living, On the Concept of Irony, Philosophical Fragments, The Concept of Anxiety and Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses. One has already been published (2012, Migalhas Filosóficas – Philosophical Fragments) and the other works await publication. Either/Or I was also published, a post-doctoral task of Elisabete de Sousa, the second researcher in the team. These titles complete the first part of a translation project held by the present research team within the group Aesthetics, Art and Religion in CFUL (2009, A Repetição – Repetition – and Temor e Tremor – Fear and Trembling). Translating Kierkegaard poses significant methodological problems which underlie the principles that rule the translation of the philosopher’s works in this project:

1. The creative practice in language engages a deep distinctive association between form and content (as with Hamann or Heidegger) and accordingly, instead of a mere “nationalization” of the foreign, one must, while keeping the text’s communicational effectiveness, maintain the intrinsic feeling of the foreign, itself a trace of the philosopher’s reasoning – quite the contrary of the customary procedure in stylistically or terminologically poor translations, such as the SK ones in Éditions de L’Orante.

2. Kierkegaard’s deep knowledge of the philosophical tradition and of German idealism (particularly Hegel and Schelling) determines the strict use of accurate terminology and contextualizing.

3. His theological thought also demands a sui generis exactitude. To deal with points 2 and 3, the research team counts on consultants, and with point 1, on exhaustive co-revising of the translations.

4. In Kierkegaard, there conflate and coexist three orders of complex categories: the esthetic, the ethic and the religious, which accounts for the fact that the critical reception (translations included) has often privileged one over the other. It is however more reductive when a far too recurrent mutual exclusion occurs between the esthetic issue, on the one hand, and the esthetic and religious issues, on the other, since, when translating, it generates harmful effects in the selection of texts, the formatting of the critical apparatus, the introductory texts and even in word or stylistic choice. In the present state of the art, the team finds it imperative, in method and in planning, to bring back to balance the above mentioned issues, especially by maintaining the philosophical dignity that the esthetic categories actually present in the architecture of Kierkegaard’s thought.

5. As the unique character of certain texts posits definite problems, conferences and seminars were held every semester in order to enable participants to gain insight into them.

The consultants included scholars from international institutions: the SK Research Centre (Copenhagen, DK), the Hong Kierkegaard Library (Northfield, MN, USA) and Philosophy Departments from Universities in Denmark, Italy, Brazil and Spain. The national consultants were M.J. do Carmo Ferreira, Manuel Alexandre Jr. e Maria Filomena Molder. Points 4 and 5 combine the most innovative features of this project whose fulfillment has set a new path in Kierkegaard’s reception in Portugal by providing readers with accurate readable translations with the adequate scholarly context.

Research Team

José Miranda Justo, Elisabete M. de Sousa, Fernando Ferreira da Silva, Susana Janic.


Kierkegaard and the Challenges of Infinitude. Philosophy and Literature in Dialogue, José Miranda Justo & Elisabete M. de Sousa (coord.), Lisboa: CFUL, 2013, 199pp.

Søren Kierkegaard, Ou-Ou. Um Fragmento de Vida. Primeira Parte, Elisabete M. de Sousa (tradução, introdução e notas), Lisboa: Relógio d’Água/CFUL, 2013, 485pp.

Kierkegaard in Lisbon, José Miranda Justo & Elisabete M. de Sousa (coord.), Lisboa: CFUL, 2012, 198pp.

Søren Kierkegaard, Migalhas Filosóficas, José Miranda Justo (tradução, introdução e notas), Lisboa: Relógio d’Água/CFUL, 2012, 184pp.

Søren Kierkegaard, A Repetição, José Miranda Justo (tradução, introdução e notas), Lisboa: Relógio d’Água/CFUL, 2009, 150pp.

Søren Kierkegaard, Temor e Tremor, Elisabete M. de Sousa (tradução, introdução e notas), Lisboa: Relógio d’Água/CFUL, 2009, 198pp.


Disunity, Well-Ordered Science, and Norms: Kierkegaard and Interdisciplinary Research, a cargo de René Rosfort, SK Research Center, U. Copenhagen, 20.11.2012, 21.30, Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Death as a Problem of