Environmental Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 2, Fall 2018

Joe Larios
Pages 295-316

Bringing Levinas Down to Earth
A Jonasian Reading of the Face

This paper adds to the critical work on the relationship between Hans Jonas and Emmanuel Levinas by arguing that the experience of the face of the other can be made compatible with Jonas’s understanding of metabolism thus allowing for an extension of who counts as an other to include all organic life forms. Although this extension will allow for a broadening of ethical patients on one side, we will see that a corresponding broadening of ethical agents on the other side will prove to be more difficult owing to the exceptionality of the human being that they both maintain and believe is expressed through the experience of responsibility.