Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Guilt versus Responsibility

James Hatley, in his excellent analysis of ‘testimony and history’, discusses Levinas’s distinction that guilt ‘is the burden I or the other may carry for our specific actions or comportment’, while ‘responsibility is the burden upon me of the other’s vulnerability to suffering’ (Hatley 2000: 104). The distinction to be made is that between one’s own actions ( concerning which one may have cause for guilt), and the human condition of living with and for others.
Page 12
Reports from a Wild Country: ethics for decolonisation
Deborah Bird Rose
UNSW Press 2004

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