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The metaphysician

In 1976, Løgstrup began the publication of a four-volume work with the collective title Metaphysics ('Metafysik'). The title indicates that the work is intended to provide an understanding of 'entireties' and that this understanding relies on phenomenological analyses, based on pre-scholarly experience. The work discusses a diversity of phenomena like language, sensation, understanding, the sovereign expressions of life, annihilation and death. A characteristic feature is that the analyses often end in a "religious interpretation", which considers the phenomena as created by God.

  • Volume I, Breadth and Concision. Philosophical Reflections on Language (Metaphysics I) ('Vidde og prægnans. Sprogfilosofiske betragtninger (Metafysik I)'), was published in 1976. It includes reflections on the tone of language and the relation between the breadth of meaning and the conciseness of words, a rejection of nominalism and a discussion of Jacques Derrida's philosophy of language.
  • The year 1978 saw the publication of volume IV, Creation and Annihilation. Philosophical Reflections on Religion (Metaphysics IV) ('Skabelse og tilintetgørelse. Religionsfilosofiske betragtninger (Metafysik IV)'). The basic idea of this book is that the annihilation of all things leads to the idea of a divine creative power, which keeps nothingness away from things as long as they exist. The book also includes reflections on time and space, on the classic issue of universals and on the relation between Creation and the Kingdom of God.


  • Løgstrup died in 1981. As a consequence he did not himself get the two remaining volumes ready for publication. This has subsequently been done by a group of editors consisting of Rosemarie Løgstrup, Svend Andersen, Karstein M. Hansen, Ole Jensen and Viggo Mortensen. In 1983, volume II, Art and Knowledge. Philosophical Reflections on Art (Metaphysics II) ('Kunst og erkendelse. Kunstfilosofiske betragtninger (Metafysik II)') was published. One of the key ideas of this philosophy is that sensation communicates an attuned impression of the world, which involves a cognition that is communicated by the artist's articulation of the impression. The book also contains a detailed reflection on the aesthetic experience of literature and discussions about Per Højholt's literary theory and Jørgen Gustave Brandt's poetical work, both Danish writers.


  • Metaphysics was completed in 1984 with the publication of volume III, Source and Surroundings. Reflections on History and Nature (Metaphysics III) ('Ophav og omgivelse. Betragtninger over historie og natur (Metafysik III)'). In this book, Løgstrup attacks the idea of the universe being the environment of a self-sustaining consciousness. He emphasizes that the universe, first of all, is the source of our being, as regards the theory of evolution as well as through its presence in our sensation. The book also includes reflections on the relation between sensation and understanding, on the 'analogous order' of nature (i.e., the order in which the typical recurs in the particular) and on history and the historicity of man.