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