Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-2009

Abstract

Despite cosmopolitanism's concern for the world's poor and its concomitant heavy moral demands, cosmopolitans establish a limit to the self's responsibility for the global poor. This contrasts with Emmanuel Levinas's view that the self has an infinite responsibility for the other, a responsibility that derives from the self's questioning of the impact of his freedom on others. From a Levinasian perspective, cosmopolitanism's restriction of the self's responsibility for others creates a sphere of rightful indifference to the needs of the other; lends legitimacy to a disregard of the other; forestalls an ethical awakening to the other; constrains the achievement of a more just global order, given that, from a Levinasian perspective, a better justice is built on the self's open-ended responsibility for the other; and points to a tension at the heart of cosmopolitanism, considering the coexistence of elements that both frustrate and aspire to the achievement of global justice. It is concluded that the achievement of cosmopolitanism's goals would require the acceptance of an open-ended responsibility for the other.

Keywords

Levinas, cosmopolitanism, responsibility, otherness, global poor

Discipline

Ethics and Political Philosophy | Philosophy

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

Alternatives

Volume

34

Issue

1

First Page

83

Last Page

106

ISSN

0304-3754

Identifier

10.1177/030437540903400105

Publisher

SAGE

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1177/030437540903400105

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