The Home
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The Home

Multidisciplinary Reflections

Edited by Antonio Argandoña

In the first major work to take the home as a center of analysis for global social problems, experts from a variety of fields reveal the multidimensional reality of the home and its role in societies worldwide. This unique book serves as a basis for action by proposing global legislative, political and institutional initiatives with the home in mind.
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Chapter 3: Self and others: home as a cradle of a non-violent relationship

Maria do Céu Patrão Neves


Emmanuel Lévinas builds his philosophy on the thesis that the ‘other’ comes before the ‘self’, representing a shift in western philosophy traditionally centred on being and committed to the self. This self-centred philosophy has led to the violence of the self-proclaimed sovereignty of the individual. Inspired by Lévinas, this reflection is structured into three main points: the primacy of the other over the self, which calls for a reflection upon the evolution of the philosophical perspective on the self and the other; one’s identity as relation; and the ethos of the relation, which we can place in the home and thus restoring its specificity and uniqueness. It is the primacy of the other over the self—Lévinas’s original thesis—that moves the focus from individuality to the relation, which originally takes place at home. The home is the birthplace and the cradle of ‘non-violent relationships’.

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