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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the common thread running through the three main ethical approaches in the history of phenomenology: a personalistic ethics of values and feelings, an existentialist ethics of freedom and authenticity, and an ethics of alterity and responsibility. Although their topics and results may plainly differ, the chapter argues that what makes each of them a specifically phenomenological approach is that the key terms of subjectivity, experience, and intentionality become relevant for ethical argumentation. In this way, phenomenological approaches demonstrate how ethical issues can gain relevance for us in the first place. Furthermore, they elaborate on different forms of “ethical experience”—ranging from emotions (such as love) as a way of experiencing values, and affective experiences (such as anxiety) as a form of existential self-encounter, to experiences that exceed the realm of emotions and embrace the dimensions of speech and interaction (such as the experience of the other).

Keywords: ethics, value, person, freedom, authenticity, responsibility, alterity, normativity, practical reason

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