1st Student's Major


1st Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Students' Professional Biography

Joseph C. Mohrfeld is a graduate of the Philosophy department at MSU, Mankato. A Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, Joe has completed his second published work Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard and the unspeakable, a defense of S. Kierkegaard’s teleological suspension of the ethical, primarily from Fear and Trembling. This research was presented at both the the Ronald E. McNair summer research conference in July 2004 and the 2005 MSU, Mankato URC in April. Mohrfeld was invited and inducted into Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and Golden Key national honor society during his junior year. In the following year Mohrfeld will be continuing this research under the guidance of Dr. Richard Liebendorfer, MSU Philosophy department chair while taking a year off to focus solely on this philosophical issue before attending graduate school. In addition to scholarship he enjoys snowboarding, riding his motorcycle and spending time in the wilderness.

Mentor's Name

Richard Liebendorfer

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities


Soren Kierkegaard and Ludwig Wittgenstein have long been thought of as philosophers with little, if anything in common. There are but a handful of contemporary philosophers who have provided links between works by Kierkegaard and works by Wittgenstein; however no one has, at least explicitly, provided the following link I intend to show in this paper. I will show Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico Philosophicus have a remarkably common theme. The theme is the ability of one to communicate, or understand the unspeakable, that which remains beyond the limits of language. Both have a unique approach to arriving at the same conclusion, Kierkegaard through religion and Wittgenstein through logic, but each reaches a point in which a person must remain silent.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Included in

Philosophy Commons



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