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Goodness Beyond Speech

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Abstract

The article addresses Raimond Gaita's attempt to construe the ethical in terms of a notion of speech that is tied to presence (each of us, he holds, is called to become someone ‘authentically present in speech and deed’ ( Gaita 1991, p. 145)), a notion through which he articulates a sense both of human uniqueness – speech demands that one find one's own words – and of human fellowship: to find one's words is to achieve the depth that enables one to be taken seriously by others. The article argues, however, that the notion of speech is caught in a double bind; for it requires a spontaneity that is incompatible with the self-presence that it also requires. In a way that Gaita cannot acknowledge, goodness is beyond speech.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Charles Sturt University, Australia

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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