The Spell of Responsibility

Still searching for a last minute present? Look no further: Daniel Steuer’s translation of my dissertation Im Bann der Verantwortung has arrived! Significantly shortend and revised, it has just been published as volume two in the series Essex Studies in Critical Theory.

The book starts from the astonishing fact that only 200 years ago, ‘responsibility’ was only of marginal importance in discussions of law and legal practice, and it had little ethical significance. Obviously, this has changed, as responsibility has become an almost unquestioned (and unquestionable) norm. Yet what is the significance of the fact that ‘responsibility’ now plays such a central role in, for example, work, the welfare state, or the criminal justice system? What happens when individuals are generally expected to think of themselves as ‘responsible’ agents? And what are the consequences of the fact that the philosophical analysis of ‘responsibility’ focuses almost exclusively on conditions of agency that are mostly absent from real life?

For more information, visit the website of Rowman & Littlefield International or see the publication entry for The Spell of Responsibility

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