Under the influence…


For quite some time now, I have been investigating Max Scheler’s influence on Jan Patočka, especially in Patočka’s Heretical Essays in the History of Philosophy. There, Patočka has a peculiar use of the notion of “force” and also develops his famous idea of the “forces of the night” / “forces of the day”. All these ideas develop without a distinct introduction in the 5th essay and then fully gain theoretical momentum in the 6th essay where Patočka gives his rather unique interpretation of the First World War as the decisive event in the history of the 20th century. In short, Patočka’s ideas of force and the forces of the day/night are tightly connected to his understanding of the First World War. However, the question is: who or what inspired this rather unusual interpretation?

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