Selves and Others

George Pattison

in God and Being

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588688
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723339 | DOI:
Selves and Others

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Hegel's dialectic of masters and slaves shows how the question of Being becomes entangled in the conflicts of self-conscious agents. Hegel resolves such conflicts in the course of history and speaks of a final state of Being-in-and-for-itself. Hegelian optimism is denied by Sartre, for whom the positing of the for-itself brings about a state of perpetual conflict. But even if a positive relation to the Other is conceivable, will it be a relation of being? If love can cross the divide of otherness, can love assure us as to the being of the one who is the object of love? Whilst it is possible to envisage a community of love as an eschatological possibility of human existence, the role of freedom would seem to stretch the language of ontology to breaking point, a point explored with reference to Derrida's politics of friendship and the Russian religious philosophers' notion of sobornost'.

Keywords: masters and slaves; violence; war; other; love; friendship; sobornost

Chapter.  19732 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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