Single Idea 20739

[catalogued under 22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / a. Preconditions for ethics]

Full Idea

Levinas forwarded a notion of 'ethics as first philosophy' that begins from the concete exposure and openness to 'the face' of the other, an experience of vulnerability and suffering that undercuts our ordinary egoistic and objectifying tendencies.

Gist of Idea

Levinas took 'first philosophy' to begin with seeing the vulnerable faces of others

Source

report of Emmanuel Levinas (works [1956]) by Kevin Aho - Existentialism: an introduction 1 'Existentialism'

Book Reference

Aho,Kevin: 'Existentialism: an introduction' [Polity 2014], p.14


A Reaction

Iris Murdoch speaks of seeing a falcon in flight as having a similar effect of diminishing the ego. If the main focus is on potential 'suffering' does this eventually cash out as utilitarianism? I bet not!

Related Ideas

Idea 549 All philosophy begins from wonder, either at the physical world, or at ideas [Aristotle]

Idea 20742 The real subject is ethical, not cognitive [Kierkegaard]