Aviezer Tucker
Harvard University
This article offers a philosophic understanding of dissidence. We present a conceptual analysis of dissidence as connected to a net of other philosophic concepts such as ‘virtue’ and ‘truth’. ‘Dissidence’, like ‘right’ and ‘liberty’, is used both in precise philosophic discourse and with greater variations of meaning in ordinary language. Our discussion springs from a philosophic discourse of dissidence that flourished in Czechoslovakia in the seventies and eighties, during the ‘normalization’ period between the Soviet invasion of 1968 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989. During that period, a small section of Czechoslovak society found itself in a situation that was commonly referred to by the word ‘dissidence’. Since some dissidents were philosophers by inclination, education, or approach, they understood their situation by drawing on their philosophic background. The towering figure of dissident philosophy was Jan Patocka, one of the first spokespersons of Charter 77 on human rights and a student of Husserl. Of his students, Václav Havel and Petr Rezek made significant contributions to the philosophical discourse of the meaning of dissidence. Though emerging out of a particular historical context, post-Stalinist Communism, the discourse itself attempted to understand dissidence in universal philosophical terms.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories No categories specified
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ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj200122222
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