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?
- Charta 77
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science