Is The Other My Neighbor?

Dana Hollander

in The Exorbitant

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230150
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235711 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Is The Other My Neighbor?

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Both Cohen and Levinas had occasion to take the biblical concept of the neighbor as a resource, or as evidence, for an understanding of ethical and political obligation. For both thinkers, appropriating this notion requires understanding love of the neighbor not as a form of love in general but as aligned with the idea of justice. This chapter begins by looking at the moments in Cohen's and Levinas's works at which each rejects love of the neighbor as an ethically productive concept. It then considers how the neighbor “returns,” in a sense, in each of their philosophies and examines both what makes possible such a return and its implications for their views of ethics and politics. In doing so, the chapter shows how the “neighbor” in Cohen's and Levinas's works can be read as exemplifying each thinker's broader strategies for taking account of Judaism in his philosophy.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; Hermann Cohen; neighbor; ethical obligation; political obligation; Judaism

Chapter.  8083 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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