Responsibility and Identity

Ladislav Hejdánek

The essay discusses some topics of Václav Havel’s prison correspondence, focusing mainly on the problem of alienation, contrasted here with Kierkegaard’s notion of existence. Under the influence of Lévinas, Havel adopts the view that man is constituted in the act of transcendence of oneself towards the other. Subsequently, the problem of the relationship between personal identity and responsibility is discussed. The traditional metaphysical concept of identity as based on the notion of duration within a flux of constant changes is rejected. Instead, the essay examines the possibility of the integration and organization of a particular action in a whole called the event.