"More than all the others": Meditation on responsibility

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Abstract

This essay examines one aspect of the wide-ranging philosophical background of the intellectual and dissident movement for human rights in one-time communist Czechoslovakia. I shall meditate on Jan Patočka's finite responsibility, Derrida's aporetic emphasis on the infinite dimension of responsibility, and Lévinasian-Dostoyevskyan ethico-existential variations on in/finite responsibility. Havel alludes to hyperbolic ethics in a parenthetical remark on the birth of "Charta 77", the Manifesto for Human Rights in Czechoslovakia. The question before us is this: which dimension of responsibility appears at this birth or, to put it otherwise, what responsibility is born in care for the soul and polis?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Horizons
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Charta 77
  • Derrida
  • Havel
  • Lévinas
  • Patočka
  • Responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy

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