O povinnosti člověka vůči sobě samému: Patočka, Kant a Charta 77
On the duty of a human being to himself: Patočka, Kant and Charta 77
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Jan Patočka, in a text about Charta 77 written for a special occasion, appeals to Kant’s idea of the duties which a human being has to himself. In the first part of this study, an attempt is made to relate this text to other places where Patočka reflects on the philosophical motivation of political action. In the second part, it is then shown which elements of Kant’s doctrine of virtue and doctrine of right that Patočka is actually appealing to. Patočka’s reading of Kant is, on the one hand, a fascinating attempt to link the doctrine of right with the doctrine of virtue; on the other hand, however, it is a rather selective interpretation which obscures Kant’s sense of the specific character of the legislation of right (rather than ethics) which arises where there is a co-existence of people and which would encompass of the famous principle of legality on which Charta 77 was based. In conclusion, the author poses the question of why exactly Patočka does not exploit this principle of legality and the verdict is reached that it is because of Patočka’s – rather than Kant’s – characteristic conception of freedom as transcending the given.
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