Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic, religious author, and all round brain box Søren Kierkegaard has been honoured with his very own Google doodle. Today would have been his 200th birthday.
Kierkegaard is widely regarded to be the first existentialist philosopher. Trying to summarise his work might be a bit much for a Sunday morning, but bear with me, I'll give it my best shot.
His philosophical work was concerned with the issue of how to live as a 'single individual', with a stress on the importance of personal choice and commitment. He gave priority to concrete human reality over abstract thinking, and was a vehement critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time.
He was also a fierce critic of Christianity as a state religion, with his theological work centring on Christian ethics and the church as an institution. He believed the church was detrimental to individuals in its existing state.
Kierkegaard published some of his work under pseudonyms, often to provide a viewpoint in opposition to his own. His legacy spread following his death, and in the 1890s Japanese philosophers started distributing his work. He influenced the likes of Heidegger and Kafka, and by the mid-20th century, his work had a major impact on philosophical and theological thought throughout the western world.
But perhaps a Google doodle is the highest accolade of all. Google has set up an archive where you can find your favourites, and there's even a store selling all manner of merchandise bearing the doodles. Check out a few of our favourites in the video below. My personal favourite? Got to be the Moog synth. Could play with it for hours.
Which is your favourite Google doodle? Would you like to see more interactive ones? Who should be the next recipient? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.