Publication details

Jan Patočka a T. G. Masaryk

Title in English Jan Patočka and T. G. Masaryk


Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Jan Patočka a Naše doba
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Masaryk; Patočka; History
Description Masaryk was one of the personalities whose work Jan Patočka studied throughout his whole career. In 1938 Patočka subscribed to the key idea of Masaryks philosophy – the idea of European scholarship. In 1946 Masaryk became an impetus for Patočkas analysis of the depths of the moral and spiritual crisis caused by World War II. Patočkas most extensive historical work on Masaryk comes from the early 50s. It focuses on the Hilsner affair and bears the title Masaryk in his fight against antisemitism. Patočkas critical stance towards Masaryk was reflected in the conception of the reconstruction of the TGM Institute in 1968. Contradictions in Masaryks thought presented challenges for Patočka and a stimulus for his further philosophical work. In 1970s, Patočka focused on a philosophical assessment of Masaryks political activities, especially his foundational role in the constitution of Czechoslovakia, and wrote two significant studies An Attempt at Czech National Philosophy and its Failure, and On Masaryks Philosophy of Religion. Patočkas assessment of Masaryks philosophical work varied. He regarded Masaryk’s philosophical theory contradictory and also questioned Masaryks philosophy of history. In his opinion, Masaryk correctly depicted the phenomenon of crisis and the necessity of its overcoming, and rightly emphasised the need for active responsibility and ethics, but his positivistic rationalism did not enable to capture the responsibility philosophically.
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