International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


Personale Verantwortung und die Ambivalenz der Institutionen

Tammo Mintken (University of Kiel)

pp. 163-193


This paper addresses the relation between personal responsibility and the ambivalent role of institutions from the perspective of passive phenomenology. Starting with a critique of the classical concept of (phenomenological) contractualism, that claims the establishment of institutions in sovereign foundational acts, I emphasize the encounter or Widerfahrnis of institutions in the passive constitution of social life. Institutions are deeply embedded within the homeworldly familiarity of everyday life and shape our understanding of responsibility. Due to this passively received familiarity the ambivalence of institutions comes to attention: On the one hand institutions are necessary to pass on and guarantee transgenerational values and they relief from otherwise overwhelming responsibilities. Yet on the other hand they tend to become self-referential and violently protect their privileges, dimming their constructive social functions and the very values they were meant to pass on. Then refection, critique and renewal of these values becomes a task of personal responsibility itself.

Publication details

Published in:

Croci Giacomo, Gerlek Selin (2020) On institutions. Metodo 8 (1).

Pages: 163-193

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.8.1.163

Full citation:

Mintken Tammo (2020) „Personale Verantwortung und die Ambivalenz der Institutionen“. Metodo 8 (1), 163–193.