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By François Raffoul

François Raffoul methods the idea that of accountability in a way that's specific 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. For Raffoul, accountability is much less a few sovereign topic setting up a sphere of energy and keep an eye on 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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This is also why, no doubt, one is never responsible enough: Responsibility actually engenders irresponsibility from within itself, it produces irresponsibility, all the while reengaging in efforts to suppress it. As we will see with Aristotle, responsibility is a domain that must be purified of irresponsibility and secured in its position of dominance, an effort which is doomed to fail, as irresponsibility will always be an integral and irreducible part of a fuller concept of responsibility. One may instead imagine a reflection on irresponsibility in which such a neat difference between responsibility and irresponsibility (between the voluntary and the involuntary, to use Aristotle’s terms) would not hold, thereby putting into question the identification of responsibility with voluntariness.

However, this hyperbolic inflation of responsibility proves to be nothing but the hyperbolic inflation of subjectivity since for Sartre everything that happens happens to me, and what happens to me happens through me. I am responsible for everything and for all as I project an image to be embraced by all. I am responsible for “all men” in the sense that “I carry the weight of the world” (je porte le poids du monde), that is, I embrace the whole world in my will. To that extent, Sartre does not perturb the traditional definition of responsibility as authorship but reinforces and extends it hyperbolically.

29 Responsibility is thus a response and is not, as Kant claimed, based on a spontaneous initiating. The subject is the recipient of the call, and not a i n t roduc t io nâ•… · â•… 19 transcendental subject; we are respondents, not absolute initiators. For Kant, to be responsible means to be able to begin something absolutely. However, as called, the subject can never begin anything but can only respond. The I always comes after, always comes “late,” and its responsibility is that very delay in the form of the registering of and responding to the call.

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