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Publication Details

On the Ambiguity of the Concept of Responsibility

(Original title: K dvojznačnosti pojmu zodpovednosť)
Filozofia, 74 (2019), 3, 238-251.
Type of work: Reflections
Publication language: Slovak

This reflection on three chapters of the newly published book The Forms of Responsibility is based on an analysis of the key phenomenon of egalitarian autonomy in the context of Tugendhat՚s and Nietzsche՚s philosophy. In the light of Palovičová՚s complex examination of responsibility of handicapped people in terms of their ability to determine their own potentialities of life, the author interprets "negative freedom" not as a problem of personal choice (Berlin), but as non-interference of the will of others (Hayek), since that would place an excessive share of responsibility for one՚s own life conditions on disadvantaged groups. Reflecting on the Tomašovičová՚s chapter on the limits and the loss of "autonomy" in relation with the progress in modern neurotechnologies, the author works with Tugendhat՚s philosophy of freedom and proposes to extend the moral understanding of responsibility by the legal dimension, using the terms imputatio facti and imputatio iuri. In the last reflection on the Smreková՚s analysis of "collective responsibility", the author draws attention to the possibilities of manipulation with "collective guilt" with reference to Nietzsche՚s "bad conscience" and his theses about "death of God". In this context the dignity of the victims of crimes against humanity can be regained only by the elimination of the influence of other authorities in the process of self-determination of one՚s will and by the acceptance of the responsibility for one՚s own past.


Autonomy, Bad conscience, Choice, Collective guilt, Neurotechnologies, Personal coercion, Responsibility, Skills

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