“Repeating” the essence of freedom. In: Filosofia e teologia 2/2022, 262-281.

“Repeating” the essence of freedom



An analysis of the concept of "repetition" shows that, in contrast to "reproduction", it can only occur in the sphere of the mind, where repetition takes place according to a law determined not by necessity but by freedom. The article examines Sigmund Freud's contribution to this subject, for whom repetition is one of the constitutive laws of the drive (Trieb). However, the distinctly "archaeological" orientation of Freud's hermeneutics, which links repetition to memory and the past, prevents him from grasping the inherent openness of repetition to the future. Instead, it was Søren Kierkegaard who made repetition the central category of a philosophy of the future, defining it as "the task proper to freedom". Based on a critical examination of Kierkegaard's interpretation, the article advances the thesis that "repetition" is not just a task, but the realisation of the essence of freedom itself.

Keywords: Sigmund Freud, Søren Kierkegaard, repetition, (Wiederholung), freedom, Repetition compulsion (Wiederholungszwang)

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