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Critical Distance: Ethical and Literary Engagements with Detachment, Isolation, and Otherness

Critical Distance: Ethical and Literary Engagements with Detachment, Isolation, and Otherness

Critical Distance: Ethical and Literary Engagements with Detachment, Isolation, and Otherness

$15.00

Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö

ISBNs: 3031355601, 978-3031355608, 9783031355608, B0C7FRQ7MM

English | 2023 | Original PDF | 110 Pages

This book argues that no ethically appropriate relation to other human beings is possible unless we treat them as genuinely other. The authors provide reasons to be critical of various attempts, many of them popular in our contemporary (Western) culture, to encourage deeper attachment to and immersion into others’ lives and experiences. They defend the significance of the distance between human beings, criticizing exaggerated uses of, e.g., the concept of empathy and related concepts in academic as well as more popular ethical contexts, across a range of issues from the nature of ethical duty to the philosophy of love.

The chapters offer non-technical philosophical and cultural criticism through selected perspectives on the continuum between closeness and distance, exploring various aspects of ethically significant relations between human beings. This book thus appeals to a wide audience, especially researchers and students in different fields of the humanities, including philosophy, literary studies, and cultural studies, by combining philosophical and literary methodologies in a humanistic examination of the value of distance. The book also argues that we have to be able to abstract from the concrete other in ethical relations, living in the normative and rational sphere of duty instead of emotional immersion.