Article/Publication Details

The Birth of Ethos from Pathos. The Ways of Responsive Phenomenology

(Original title: Zrod étosu z pátosu. Cesty responzívnej fenomenológie)
Language: Slovak
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Abstract

The precondition of the birth of ethos is an ethics which is not conceived as self- evident. According to Merleau-Ponty phenomenology is constantly confronted with sense in statu nascendi and this also applies to ethos in statu nascendi. The birth of ethos as envisaged by genetic phenomenology does not overlap with Nietzsche’s genealogy of morality. Both approaches coincide, however, in the radicalism of their attempts to penetrate to the “root of all things” (Hua XXV, 61). This is also the case with Bergson’s search for “the sources of morality and religion.” After all, even Levinas, who in his Totalité et infini develops an ethics inspired by Judaism faces the question: Does ethics ultimately make fools of us? The birth from pathos means that ethos does not owe its emergence to goals, norms or the calculus of utility, but to our response to that which happens to us unexpectedly and demands a reaction. From this a special type of ethics arises – I call it responsive ethics. It does not exclude other types; it just shifts the centre of gravity to a point which is irreplaceable. Nietzsche’s concern was to change the “weight of things” – a shift we are concerned with, too.

Keywords

Affect, Diastasis, Emotion, Ethos, Pathos, Response, Responsive ethics