Tag Archives: Character

Zerrissenheit

Term

A condition in which an abundance of options inhibits an individual’s ability to make meaningful choices. A person whose happiness is negatively affected due to the lack of a coherent moral structure to their choices and actions.

Explanation

“The Germans have a word for this condition: Zerrissenheit– loosely, ‘falling-to-pieces-ness’. This is the loss of internal coherence that can come from living in a multitasking, pulled-in-a-hundred-directions existence. This is what Kierkegaard called ‘the dizziness of freedom.’ When the external constraints are loosened, when a person can do what he wants, when there are a thousand choices and distractions, then live can lose coherence and direction if there isn’t a strong internal structure”(218, The Road to Character)

Source

The Road to Character by David Brooks