The Immediacy Of Encounter And The Dangers Of Dichotomy: Buber, Levinas, And Jonas On Responsibility

In Hava Tirosh-Samuelson & Christian Wiese (eds.), The Legacy of Hans Jonas: Judaism and the Phenomenon of Life. Boston: pp. 203-230 (2008)
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The article examines philosophical conceptions of responsibility found in the contributions of Martin Buber, Hans Jonas and Emmanuel Levinas. It argues that, despite the significant differences of these contributions, they all share important goals, significant structural features, and corresponding challenges. All three thinkers try to overcome the solipsistic limitations of Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology as well as the egocentrism of Heidegger’s concept of "solicitude" or "self-care." All three try to overcome the Kantian subject-object dichotomy. All three understand responsibility as a bipolar relation only. In consequence, all of them face similar challenges resulting from new forms of dichotomies and the exclusion of “thirdness” that are the result of their conceptual decisions.



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Micha H. Werner
University of Greifswald

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