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Singularity and Responsibility.

At first glance the question of responsibility seems to be a question of freedom: is one responsible for his/her actions, because she/he has chosen these actions freely? In a recent philosophical debate that has been inspired by the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, responsibility is however understood as the result of a call: as a task that isn¿t the result of any free choice, but that is received in a passive way. This call is received by a singular person and has to be answered by this person only. Levinas¿ concept of responsibility has been put into question by some critics as Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur, who doubt Levinas¿ claim that ethical responsibility (the call to do the good) can be singular. Ricoeurs and Marions criticisms point at the fundamental problem of an ethics of responsibility: how is it possible for a call that is addressed at any person, to ask for an answer that only I can give? This question will be the core of the following research project which goal consists in investigating how singularity can be considered as a condition of freedom. The project will carefully investigate the following three questions. 1.) Can the call for the good be singular (i.e. unique) so that it is possible to say that it singularizes me? 2.) Can a passive call for responsibility result in concrete ethical practice? 3.) In what sense does freedom depend on singular ethicalacting in practice?
Date:1 Oct 2012 →  30 Sep 2014
Disciplines:Theory and methodology of philosophy, Philosophy, Ethics, Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified