Master of Arts (MA)


Philosophy and Religious Studies

Document Type



This thesis is an attempt to separate holding-responsible from accountability, where accountability is understood as being the substratum or ground of one’s acts, the subject-cause. It begins from François Raffoul’s rethinking of responsibility in his book, The Origins of Responsibility, as separate from accountability and asks if holding-responsible is possible on such an account. Holding-responsible is examined through the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Harry Frankfurt, and Martin Heidegger. In Nietzsche, the phenomenological roots of the terms are examined in the breeding of an animal that can promise, the relationship between a creditor and an ower, and the belief that debt can be paid in an equivalence of pain. In Frankfurt, the principle of alternate possibilities is examined and critiqued. Frankfurt offers a rethinking of moral responsibility and accountability that shows a focus on being over ontic actions. From there, the thesis moves to an examination of being in Heidegger, focusing on the concepts of authenticity, inauthenticity, mineness, being-with, and solicitude. Holding-responsible is then defined both authentically and inauthentically as derived from the two modes of solicitude. The authentic mode is defined as the attempt to make Dasein transparent to itself in its being-responsible, where Dasein is held to transparency itself. The inauthentic mode is defined as holding the being-responsible of a Dasein to demands of the they. The authentic mode is then claimed to be separate from accountability as it is ambivalent to the assumption that Dasein is a subject-cause, the substratum or ground of its acts.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Raffoul, François