Rabjerg on Etiske Begreber og Problemer

I have added a new item to the ‘resources’ page, which is a translation of Bjørn Rabjerg’s afterword to the Klim edition of Løgstrup’s Etiske Begreber og Problemer (a book which was first published in 1971). It is a very helpful and insightful piece on this important text from Løgstrup’s later period – see here.


Pat Stokes on Løgstrup

There is an interesting article on the ABC website by Pat Stokes, bringing Løgstrup into debates concerning the limits of civility and civil resistance, in the context of the ‘Red Hen’ incident in the US. See here.

CFP Levinas and Løgstrup

There is a call for papers for the edition of The Monist that Irene McMullin and I are editing, on Levinas and Løgstrup. See details below:

Publication date: January 2020
Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2019

How much does ethics demand from us? On what authority does it demand it? How does what ethics demands relate to other requirements, such as those of prudence, law and social convention? Is ethics even a matter of demands, or instead of love? These are fundamental questions at the heart of the work of K. E. Løgstrup and Emmanuel Levinas, to which they seem to give broadly similar answers, centering on our encounter with other people who are vulnerable to us. However, while Levinas is widely recognized as a leading thinker and has been much discussed, the Danish philosopher Løgstrup has been largely ignored until recently, although some important thinkers (such as Alasdair Macintyre and Stephen Darwall) are beginning to pay attention to his work; and Oxford University Press has recently agreed to publish translations of four of his texts, adding to the material that is available in English. The purpose of this edition of The Monist is to take this reception much further by examining key features of Løgstrup’s account and by setting it in dialogue with Levinas on these central issues in ethics. We welcome papers which consider the extent of their common ground, or whether fundamental differences might still emerge. This collection will also test their approaches against various criticisms to see whether insights from one thinker could be used to defend the other. It will be the first time the two philosophers have been juxtaposed in any depth. Doing so promises to not only deepen our understanding of Levinas but also to show how it can be fruitful to take Løgstrup’s position into account, thereby introducing a new figure into contemporary debates on the nature of our ethical relation to others.
Papers can be submitted to me directly. See instructions for authors here

Løgstrup and overdemandingness

I gave a paper at a conference at the University of Southampton on ‘How much does Morality Require of Us? Singer, Kant and Løgstrup’. I suggested that Løgstrup might provide an ideal middle way between Singer (who looks too demanding regarding the distant other) and Kant (who looks too undemanding regarding the proximate other), while Løgstrup’s distinction between the responsibility of the ethical demand, and our political responsibilities to others, may show what is wrong with Singer’s famous analogy between the child drowning in the pond, and those distant others who are in need, but less clearly ‘in one’s hands’.

Løgstrup in China

Back from three weeks teaching Løgstrup at Tsinghua University in China, with Bjørn Rabjerg. It was a great experience.

Bjørn and I also got to work on our new translation of The Ethical Demand. The photo is us working on the translation in the wonderful gardens of the Summer Palace in Beijing.

Summer palace