Creativity Magazine

Søren Kierkegaard on Coffee and Coffee-Not

By Aristippos
Søren Kierkegaard on Coffee and Coffee-Not

Søren Kierkegaard in the coffee-house, as sketched in oil by Christian Olavius Zeuthen in 1843

“Things here go just as they did with me and my physician. I complained about being out of sorts. He replied, ‘You probably drink too much coffee and walk too little.’ Three weeks later I spoke with him again and said, ‘I really do not feel very well, but now it cannot be because of drinking coffee, for I do not drink coffee at all, nor because of lack of exercise, for I walk all day long.’ He replied, ‘Well, then the reason must be that you do not drink coffee and that you walk too much.’ And so my infirmity was and remains the same, but if I drink coffee the cause of my infirmity is that I drink coffee, and if I do not drink coffee, then my infirmity is caused by my not drinking coffee. And that is how it is with us human beings. All of earthly existence is a sort of infirmity.”

Excerpt from “Remarks by a Humorous Individual”, a journal entry from Søren Kierkegaard in 1845.

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