Title page for ETD etd-04162012-140729

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kosinski, Luke
URN etd-04162012-140729
Title Holding-Responsible and Liability: A Phenomenological Attempt to Separate Holding-Responsible from Accountability
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Philosophy & Religious Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Raffoul, François Committee Chair
Schufreider, Gregory J Committee Member
Rocha, Oliver James Committee Member
  • accountable
  • the they
  • authentic
  • inauthentic
  • the other
  • liable
  • author
  • authorship
  • autonomy
Date of Defense 2012-04-02
Availability unrestricted
This thesis is an attempt to separate holding-responsible from accountability, where accountability is understood as being the substratum or ground of one’s acts, the subject-cause. It begins from François Raffoul’s rethinking of responsibility in his book, The Origins of Responsibility, as separate from accountability and asks if holding-responsible is possible on such an account. Holding-responsible is examined through the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Harry Frankfurt, and Martin Heidegger. In Nietzsche, the phenomenological roots of the terms are examined in the breeding of an animal that can promise, the relationship between a creditor and an ower, and the belief that debt can be paid in an equivalence of pain. In Frankfurt, the principle of alternate possibilities is examined and critiqued. Frankfurt offers a rethinking of moral responsibility and accountability that shows a focus on being over ontic actions. From there, the thesis moves to an examination of being in Heidegger, focusing on the concepts of authenticity, inauthenticity, mineness, being-with, and solicitude. Holding-responsible is then defined both authentically and inauthentically as derived from the two modes of solicitude. The authentic mode is defined as the attempt to make Dasein transparent to itself in its being-responsible, where Dasein is held to transparency itself. The inauthentic mode is defined as holding the being-responsible of a Dasein to demands of the they. The authentic mode is then claimed to be separate from accountability as it is ambivalent to the assumption that Dasein is a subject-cause, the substratum or ground of its acts.
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