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By François Raffoul

François Raffoul methods the idea that of accountability in a fashion that's detailed from its conventional interpretation as responsibility of the willful topic. Exploring accountability within the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, Levinas, Heidegger, and Derrida, Raffoul identifies decisive moments within the improvement of the idea that, retrieves its origins, and explores new reflections on it. For Raffoul, accountability is much less a couple of sovereign topic developing a sphere of strength and regulate than approximately publicity to an occasion that doesn't come from us and but calls to us. those unique and considerate investigations of the post-metaphysical senses of accountability chart new instructions for ethics within the continental tradition.

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The origins of responsibility

François Raffoul methods the idea that of accountability in a way that's unique from its conventional interpretation as responsibility of the willful topic. Exploring accountability within the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, Levinas, Heidegger, and Derrida, Raffoul identifies decisive moments within the improvement of the concept that, retrieves its origins, and explores new reflections on it.

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Levinas’s account of responsibility breaks decisively with the concept of accountability of the subject. Responsibility is for the other, that is, not a responsibility ensuing from my deed, not even for what matters to me, but for the other, precisely in mattering to me as other, in the experience of the face. This responsibility for the other is non-reciprocal, i n t roduc t io n · 33 dissymmetrical (all concerns for reciprocity, contracts, and agreements with others, are seen by Levinas examples of egoistic thinking), infinite, and non-chosen; it is the experience of a being-“hostage” to the other.

There is a performativity of ethical valuation wherein ethics, far from any sense of applying a rule, becomes the matter of a making or an invention (the rule itself needs to be invented). The death of God implies 30 · t h e or ig i n s of r e s p o n s i bi l i t y the disappearance of an a priori table of values, such that ethics and responsibility are a matter of invention for Sartre, and never of the application of rules. This accounts for the crucial analogy Sartre draws between responsibility, ethics, and the work of art.

In this case, as we have seen, the weight is the weight of otherness. But it can also take the Sartrean form, in which I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders because I embrace the whole world within my will. I am responsible for everything and for all men, says Sartre. And Levinas also writes that I am responsible, and more than all the others—but for opposite reasons. For Sartre, it signifies the absolutizing of the willful subject taking over the whole world and being responsible “for all men” insofar as I am the “author” of the meaning of the world.

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