Title

A magnificent gift: Jan Patocka and Vaclav Havel on dissident sacrifice

Date of this Version

2017

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Brennan, D. (2017). A magnificent gift: Jan Patocka and Vaclav Havel on dissident sacrifice. Theory in Action, 10(1),88-107.

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©2017 Transformative Studies Institute

ISSN

1937-0229

Abstract

The paper compares and contrasts Jan Patočka and Vaclav Havel’s respective thoughts on dissent. Using Aristotle’s thoughts on the magnanimous man as a sounding board, the paper argues with Patočka that dissent is best undertaken as a gift to a community made with sound philosophical reflection. The paper also argues with Havel that dissent is also a task for every citizen who is caught in an oppressive political situation –that is dissent is not the sole responsibility of the reflective philosopher but every citizen whose actions contribute to the sustenance of ideology.

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This document has been peer reviewed.