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Towards a Non-Eurocentric Analysis of the World Crisis: Reconsidering Patočka’s Approach

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The paper tackles Patočka’s ideas on the world crisis and on the possibility that it may be overcome. The key flaw in Patočka’s approach, one which also underpins his Eurocentrism, is identified as his drawing a firm line between a free, truly historical way of life, and unfree, earthbound living. In order to sketch a usable conception, the paper reinterprets Patočka’s notion of the three movements of existence, thereby connecting his historical and political reflections with his ontological thought and also with Arendt’s concept of action. The dichotomy between earthiness and freedom, corresponding to the contrast between the first two movements and the third, is refuted by emphasizing not only the inseparability of all the movements of existence but also the historicity of each of them. On the basis of such a reinterpretation, Patočka’s concept can provide a phenomenological framework not only for a non-Eurocentric analysis of human being in the world but also of the world crisis.

Affiliations: 1: Charles University Prague martin.ritter@ff.cuni.cz

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/content/journals/10.1163/15691640-12341376
2017-09-06
2017-10-20

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