On Metaphysical Guilt and Infinite Responsibility: K. Jaspers and E. Levinas

Problemos:95-110 (forthcoming)
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This paper discusses guilt and responsibility in Jaspers and Levinas. First, it explores the concept of guilt in Jaspers and shows that while “metaphysical guilt” deepens the existential dimension of human life it remains indifferent to the moral dimension of guilt and responsibility uncovered by Levinas. Second, the paper explores the notions of guiltless responsibility and unavoidable guilt in Levinas and shows that responsibility is not limited to specific wrongdoing or explicit acknowledgment of guilt. By drawing out these differences between Jaspers and Levinas, the author asks if Levinas’s approach might provide illuminating guidance to talk about our guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust as well as other social events.



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References found in this work

Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence.Emmanuel Levinas & Alphonso Lingis - 1981 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 17 (4):245-246.
Elevations. The Height of the Good in Rosenzweig and Levinas.Richard A. Cohen - 1997 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 59 (1):158-158.
Ethique et infini. Dialogues avec Philippe Nemo.Emmanuel Levinas - 1983 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 173 (1):63-63.
Levinas and the Holocaust: A Reconstruction.Bob Plant - 2014 - Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 22 (1):44-79.

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