Article/Publication Details

Death and Responsibility

(Original title: Smrť a zodpovednosť)
Filozofia, 2006, vol. 61, No 8, pp. 611-621.
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In his final interview published under the title Apprendre a vivre enfin Derrida returns to the recurrent theme of his work namely responsibility, but this time also with the regard to death. Drawing critically on the works of Heidegger and Levinas, Derrida explores in his later work Gift of Death "history of responsibility" from Platoś interpretation of Socrates death to Kierkegaardś meditations on infinite responsibility in the face of God. Refusing the traits of platonism in Heidegger, which has to do with taking death upon oneself, Derrida still sees his point in that it is in the irremovability of oneś death that the call of responsibility appears. Taking into account Levinas\' critique of Heideggerś stance, Derrida reformulates singularity as an assymetrical relationship of a responsible "I" to the Other. However, arguing together with Patočka, Derrida underlines that this kind of responsibility has only become possible in Christian religion which challenges the understanding of death and the call of conscience in terms of a personal relationship to the Other, i.e. God, and which brings a new experience of death. In conclusion the essay offers a short introduction to Derridaś understanding of religion as a promise and of what-is-to-come yet could mean.

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