Jan Patocka’s Struggle

Philosophy and Theology 15 (2):321-331 (2003)
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Organized around the central concept of struggle, this paper is an introduction to the later thought of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka (1907–1977), with attention to the circumstances of his life. The first section of the paper presents Patočka’s description of the “three movements” of human existence, with emphasis upon the second, the movement of defense, work, and survival. The second section examines his later conception of philosophy, where he reprised elements of classical Greek thought (the Heraclitean notion of polemos and the Socratic notion of “care of the soul”) for their relevance in the modern world.



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