Jan Patočka a T. G. Masaryk

Title in English Jan Patočka and T. G. Masaryk


Year of publication 2018
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

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 Masaryk’s philosophy – the idea of European scholarship. In 1946 Masaryk became an impetus for Patočka’s analysis of the depths of the moral and spiritual crisis caused by World War II. Patočka’s 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. Patočka’s critical stance towards Masaryk was reflected in the conception of the reconstruction of the TGM Institute in 1968. Contradictions in Masaryk’s thought presented challenges for Patočka and a stimulus for his further philosophical work. In 1970s, Patočka focused on a philosophical assessment of Masaryk’s 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 Masaryk’s Philosophy of Religion. Patočka’s assessment of Masaryk’s philosophical work varied. He regarded Masaryk’s philosophical theory contradictory and also questioned Masaryk’s 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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