Thinking Responsibility Differently: Reconciliation and the Tragedy of Colonisation

This paper explores the limits of conventional legal understandings of responsibility as a means of dealing with the legacies of colonisation of Australia. It suggests that the overriding focus upon 'moral agency' in contemporary legal and historical debates may actually restrict or derail...

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Published in: Journal of intercultural studies Vol. 26; no. 3; pp. 237 - 254
Main Author: Muldoon, Paul
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: USA Taylor & Francis Group 08-01-2005
Taylor & Francis, USA
Subjects:
Law
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Summary: This paper explores the limits of conventional legal understandings of responsibility as a means of dealing with the legacies of colonisation of Australia. It suggests that the overriding focus upon 'moral agency' in contemporary legal and historical debates may actually restrict or derail the institution of reconciliation as a tool of justice. I suggest that the tragic tradition can enrich or extend our understanding of the reconciliation process, firstly by sponsoring a concept of responsibility that does not take its bearings from the purposes or intentions of the agent and, secondly, by establishing a connection between our spectatorship on the events of the past and the education of compassion.
Bibliography: Journal of Intercultural Studies (Carlton, Vic), v.26, no.3, Aug 2005: (237)-254
ISSN: 0725-6868
1469-9540
DOI: 10.1080/07256860500153518