Recognising the Individuality of the Other: Love as motivation, art as motivation

Academic Hour with Nigel Rapport

2019.01.25 | Mia Korsbæk

Date Wed 06 Mar
Time 13:00 15:00
Location Moesgård, The Lecture Hall (4206, 139)


Aldous Huxley observed: ‘From solitude in the womb we emerge into solitude among our fellows, and return again to solitude within the grave. We pass our lives in the attempt to mitigate that solitude, but propinquity is never fusion’. I take Huxley’s statement to be an ontological truth. I ask: Given the solitudinous nature of the human condition, how best to imagine a moral society? I suggest that a moral society is one where the irreducible distance between individuals translates neither into indifference nor into stereotypification; human beings are recognized as individuals and not in terms of external collective categories and classes of purported belonging (concerning nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, gender, and so on).

                      A proposal is made that love might function as that public virtue which both extends recognition towards the human other and at the same time recognises the others’ absolute distinctiveness. Love might play the foundational social-structural role of effecting a universal social integration where any and every human being—‘Anyone’—is accorded a place while at the same time being afforded the symbolic space to come into its own.

                      The role that art might play in the moral education of a loving recognition is explored, and the painting of Stanley Spencer introduced.



Loving Recognition:

A proposal for the practical efficacy of love as a public virtue

Antropologi, Globale Studier, Seminar, Filosofi og Idéhistorie