Poul Martin Møller (21 March 1794 – 13 March 1838) was a vital influence on the more famous philosopher Kierkegaard, his prize pupil. He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Copenhagen for much of his life. Møller authored the important, deceptively whimsical novel Adventures of a Danish Student, which chronicles, hence the name, the peripatetic wanderings of a Copenhagen licentiate, or degree candidate, and his esoteric philosophical musings. The novel was never finished. This work was the favorite book of the Danish physicist and thinker Niels Bohr (1885–1963).
One of the licentiate's philosophical meditations: "[I start] to think about my own thoughts of the situation in which I find myself. I even think that I think of them, and divide myself into an infinite retrogressive sequence of I's who consider each other. I do not know which I to stop at as the actual, and in the moment I stop at one, there is indeed again an I which stops at it. I become confused and feel a dizziness as if I were looking down into a bottomless abyss."
And another: "You see, my friend, a movement presupposes a direction. The mind cannot proceed without moving along a certain line; but before following this line, it must already have thought it. Therefore one has already thought every thought before one thinks it. Thus every thought, which seems the work of a minute, presupposes an eternity. This could drive me almost to madness."
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