Selma’s response: A case for responsive anthropology

Thomas Schwarz Wentzer


Analyzing an episode from a family story in World War II, this paper suggests introducing the concept of responsiveness in philosophical anthropology and anthropology of ethics. It recalls the need for moral imagination when interpreting ethically significant cases and hence argues for the acknowledgment of possibility as an ontological modality essential to our understanding of the reality of human life. It does so by drawing on Heidegger’s hermeneutics of Dasein and Waldenfels’ responsive phenomenology.


responsiveness, existential anthropology, phenomenology, Heidegger, World War II, moral imagination

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/698272