Responsive ethics

Bernhard Waldenfels

in The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594900
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Responsive ethics


This chapter covers the traditional role of responsibility, and the possible connections between response and responsibility. These connections are explored through the advance of trust and the surplus of the extraordinary in relation to the Third Party. The idea of responsibility comes from the sphere of juridical law, and has a theological touch. The classical conception presented suffers from a permanent erosion that is reinforced by systemic constraints. Trust is a natural element of every community that is together applied by common aims in life. The phenomenon of trust refers to the bond, the nexus, which holds together the members of a community, creating the requisite solidarity. The term ‘trust’ or ‘confidence’ should not primarily read as a substantive, but as a verb or as the derivative of a verb. Furthermore, it is noted that the responsive ethics proposed could function as a permanent corrective.

Keywords: response; responsibility; trust; Third Party; juridical law; life; community; confidence; responsive ethics

Article.  10089 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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