[In Quest of Responsibility]
paperback, 272 pp., 1. edition
published: march 2021
recommended price: 340 czk
This loose continuation of the successful book featuring a dialog between Karel Hvížďala and Jiří Přibáň entitled In Quest of History (in English in 2019; in Czech in 2018 as Hledání dějin) addresses the most burning questions of the present day. In Quest of Responsibility addresses primarily ethics and morality, paradoxes of modern and postmodern eras and the differentiation of contemporary societies, deeply affected by the pandemic situation. Their definitions of the basic philosophical and sociological notions, such as culture, social norms, values, and reflections on the functioning of the state, economic structure of the world, the state of universities and media are so fitting that this discussion may become an essential reading for everyone who follows the state of contemporary world with concern, but without fear, just like the book’s authors.
“Instead of moralistic preaching, the authors offer ‘ironical ethics,’ arising from an effort to keep distance from oneself. As ethical ironists we can see better – others, the world and ourselves. It is only now that we discover that the noblest of slogans face to face with the complexity, and possibly even absurdity of the observed world is just another layer, and not one of much value. How to avoid preaching about the good and not become cynical or desperate? There are several ways, all related to one thing: enthusiasm must be based in thought, not in judgement.”
“Finding personal and social political life as an interested relationship with the other is in contemporary narcissistic societies particularly needed and valuable.”
“It is high time to stop and analyze the situation – to discover the questions it contains and pronounce them out loud. Not to eschew the conflict of different interpretations, but instead to search how to respond to it and face the social risk of responsibility. Because responses cannot be based on a rule. It is necessary to be responsible for the response itself.”