Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2020
Philosophical Turn Towards Religion
Forms and Movements of Life
Existential and Metaphysical Responsibility in the Work of Jan Patočka
Based on an analysis of the theory of the movement of existence, this paper answers the following question: Where can one see the most important connections of philosophical and religious language in the most re-thought part of Jan Patočkaʼs thinking? The third movement of life is seen as a form of the true philosophical life, but also as a form with metaphysical responsibility. The movement of breakthrough, or actual self-comprehension, is the most important, because it leads to care for the soul—and, according to Patočkaʼs analyses of interpretations of the Faust legend, it leads to care for the true immortality of soul. In the third movement of life, one lives an unsheltered life in openness to all which is not given and cannot be given, which is beyond all objective identification, and yet determines this world. In response to the mission in time (kairos), on the way to “asubjective” openness of the soul, in a dialogue which searches for truth and resists temptation, one can still find metaphysical responsibility and freedom.