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Infinite Responsibility: An expression of Saintliness

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  • Conceição Soares

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto)

Abstract

In this paper I will focus my attention in the distinctions embedded in standard moral philosophy, especially in the philosophy of Kant between, on the one hand, duty and supererogation on the other hand, with the aim to contrast them with the Levinas’s perspective, namely his notion of infinite responsibility. My account of Levinas’s philosophy will show that it challenges – breaking down – deeply entrenched distinctions in the dominant strands of moral philosophy, within which the theory of individual responsibility is rooted. Finally, I will argue that the notion of infinite responsibility to the Other could be viewed as an attempt to create an ethics, based on secular saintliness/holiness with individual and social consequences in our daily life.

Suggested Citation

  • Conceição Soares, 2009. "Infinite Responsibility: An expression of Saintliness," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 02, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
  • Handle: RePEc:cap:wpaper:022009
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    Keywords

    Levinas; Kant; infinite responsibility; ethics;

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