Confronting Totalitarian Minds

Jan Patocka on Politics and Dissidence

Aspen Brinton

Confronting Totalitarian Minds

Aspen Brinton

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

430 pages | 5 3/4 x 8
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9788024645377 Will Publish September 2020 Not for sale in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic
Jan Patočka was a Czech philosopher who not only lived through the turbulent politics of twentieth-century Central Europe, but he shaped his intellectual contributions in response to that tumult. One of the last students of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, he was a philosophical inspiration to Václav Havel and other dissidents who confronted the Soviet regimes before 1989, as well as being actively involved in authoring and enacting Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. He died in 1977 from medical complications resulting from interrogations of the secret police, his political involvement cut short by an untimely death.

Confronting Totalitarian Minds examines his legacy along with several contemporary applications of his ideas about dissidence, solidarity, and the human being’s existential confrontation with unjust politics. Aspen Briton puts Patočka’s ideas about dissidence, citizen mobilization, and civic responsibility in conversation with those of notable world historical figures like Mohandas Gandhi, expanding the current possibilities of comparative political theory. In adding a fresh voice to contemporary conversations on transcending injustice, Confronting Totalitarian Minds seeks to educate a wider audience about this philosopher’s continued relevance to political dissidents across the world.
 
Contents
Preface Introduction 1. Living in Truth: in conversation with Václav Havel 2. Caring for the Soul: in conversation with Dietrich Bonhoeffer 3. Confrontation as polemos: in conversation with Mahatma Gandhi 4. Solidarity of the Shaken: in conversation with atomic activism 5. Existential recognition: in conversation with environmental activism Epilogue Bibliography
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