What do we owe each other?

In this opinion piece from the New York Times, Aaron James Wendland draws on work by Emmanuel Levinas in response to the surge of refugees around the world and particularly into Europe. Levinas describes the allergic reaction to refugees. In response he suggests three things. First, an appeal to the ‘infinity’ in human beings, that other people are always more than our categories can capture.  Second, faces confront us directly and immediately. Thirdly, hospitality involves curtailing our enjoyment of the world when confronted with another’s wants.

See link to article below:



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2 Responses to What do we owe each other?

  1. Fine article much of which is at variance with current political and social activity to say nothing of commercial activity. Once this was all considered under the heading of commutative justice in moral philosophy.

  2. Nel Hanratty says:

    Thank you for posting this. Levinas’s thought is perhaps the only thought of the right size for the refugee issue. I’ve reposted to my blog as well. Best wishes.

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