In this Book

Caring for the Soul in a Postmodern Age
summary
In 1977 the sixty-nine-year-old Czech philosopher Jan Patocûka died from a brain hemorrhage following a series of interrogations by the Czechoslovak secret police. A student of Husserl and Heidegger, he had been arrested, along with young playwright Václav Havel, for publicly opposing the hypocrisy of the Czechoslovak Communist regime. Patocûka had dedicated himself as a philosopher to laying the groundwork of what he termed a “life in truth.” This book analyzes Patocûka’s philosophy and political thought and illuminates the synthesis in his work of Socratic philosophy and its injunction to “care for the soul.” In bridging the gap, not only between Husserl and Heidegger, but also between postmodern and ancient philosophy, Patocûka presents a model of democratic politics that is ethical without being metaphysical, and transcendental without being foundational.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. p. vii
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. 2. “Concrete Humans in Their Corporeal World”: An Interpretation of Husserl and Heidegger
  2. pp. 15-50
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  1. 3. Philosophy After the Death of Metaphysics Patočka and Greek Thought
  2. pp. 51-82
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  1. 4. A Philosophy of History and aTheory of Politics
  2. pp. 83-119
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  1. 5. Politics and Ethics in the Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 121-160
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  1. 6. Conclusion: Foundations and Philosophy, Politics and Postmodernism
  2. pp. 161-184
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  1. Appendix: Patočka’s Reception in the English-Language Literature
  2. pp. 185-205
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 207-240
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 241-249
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 251-259
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