Marry, and you will regret it; don’t marry, you will also regret it; marry or don’t marry, you will regret it either way. Laugh at the world’s foolishness, you will regret it; weep over it, you will regret that too; laugh at the world’s foolishness or weep over it, you will regret both. Believe a woman, you will regret it; believe her not, you will also regret it… Hang yourself, you will regret it; do not hang yourself, and you will regret that too; hang yourself or don’t hang yourself, you’ll regret it either way; whether you hang yourself or do not hang yourself, you will regret both. This, gentlemen, is the essence of all philosophy.

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Original Citation

Kierkegaard, Soren [published as Victor Eremita]. Enten-Eller [Either/Or]. Vol. 1, Copenhagen: University bookshop, 1843.

Current Citation

Kierkegaard, Soren. Either/Or: A Fragment of Life, translated by Alistair Hanny. Penguin Classics, 1992, pt. 1.