International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy



Heretical essays in the philosophy of history

Jan Patočka

edited byJames Dodd

Translated by Erazim Kohák


Heretical Essays is Patočka's final work, and one of his most exciting and iconoclastic. Patočka begins with prehistory, approached through the "natural world" as conceived by Husserl and Heidegger. According to Patočka, nature is as an alien construct, and history, which began as a quest for higher meaning, ends with life as self-sustaining consumption. Patočka explains how Europe declined from its Greek heritage to seek power rather than truth, splintering into ethnic subdivisions, and then how the Enlightenment moved Europe from an ethical to a material orientation.

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Publication details

Publisher: Open Court

Place: LaSalle, Ill.

Year: 1996

Pages: 200

ISBN (hardback): 0812693361

ISBN (paperback): 081269337X

Full citation:

Patočka Jan (1996). Heretical essays in the philosophy of history, transl. E. Kohák, ed. Dodd James, Open Court, LaSalle, Ill.