Friday, October 14, 2005

What We Owe Each Other, Simplified

What I've been mulling about concerning what we owe each other suddenly fell into a simpler pattern for me today:

What we owe strangers and acquaintances: at least respect.
What we owe our friends: at least respect plus solicited attention.
What we owe the people we claim to love: at least respect, plus solicited attention, plus unsolicited attention (that is, checking in just to check in -- not waiting to be specifically asked for attention or help).

For details on what I mean by respect, and what I mean by love, I refer you to the earlier post on this topic.


  1. What do you think of Levinas?

  2. Thank you for drawing my attention to Levinas! Even though my own ways of thinking are somewhat akin to continental philosophy, I'm actually trained mostly in analytic philosophy, believe it or not, and so I have not had much exposure to Levinas. Thanks to your comment, I've started to look into his writings, and look forward to reading more!