Volume 11, 2011
Concepts of Tradition in Phenomenology
Molly Brigid Flynn
Self-Responsibility, Tradition, and the Apparent Good
The crucial distinction for ethics is between the good and the apparent good, between being and seeming. Tradition is useful for developing our ability to make this distinction and to live ethically or in self-responsibility, but it is also threatening to this ability. The phenomenology of Husserl and of others in the Husserlian tradition, especially Robert Sokolowski, are helpful in spelling out how tradition works; how the difference between the apparent good and the good is bridged in the experience of moral truth but also a permanent, challenging feature of human life; what ethics requires regarding self-responsibility or authenticity; and what the proper voice of tradition is in the ethical or moral life.