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Is Ethics Absolutely Obligatory? Part II (Suspension of Ethics and the Problem of Self-Understanding in Existentialist Tradition)

(Original title: Existuje absolútna povinnosť voči etike? II. časť (Problém etiky a sebachápania v existencialistickej tradícii))
Filozofia, 63 (2008), 9, 750-762.
Type of work: Papers
Publication language: Slovak

In the second part of his study the author analyzes Kierkegaard´s thesis of the suspension of ethics on three levels: firstly, in its relation to Kant, who insists on the universal self-understanding of every individual; secondly, in its relation to the post-metaphysical interpretation of Kant, in which ethics is a matter of inter-subjective relations; and thirdly, in its relation to the existential tradition represented by Ernst Tugendhat´s thesis concerning the need to differentiate between the existential and ethical self-understandings. The key role the „accidental“ plays in human action creates a non-universalistic way of self-understanding in which individuality definitely predominates universality.


I. Kant, M. Heidegger, J. Habermas, E. Tugendhat, Self-understanding, Human action, Aims and results, The „accidental“ factor

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