Czekalski Rafał
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50(2014)4 - Papers

Rafał Czekalski

Is it possible to build social ethics based on the ethical concepts of Emmanuel Lévinas and Karol Wojtyla? A discussion on the foundations of modern social ethics

  • Language: Polish


The purpose of this article is to present ethical and social thoughts of two eminent philosophers of the 20th century, E. Lévinas and K. Wojtyła in reference to the coherence of their thoughts and their mutual complementarity. Both had similar intentions of creating the preconditions that ensure peace and social order. Both lived through totalitarian regimes, witnessed the deaths of many people, experienced the decline of mankind and therefore raised very important questions about the causes of these twentieth-century moral disasters. However, there are important differences between the two thinkers, concerning the understanding of subjectivity, their positions on the whole heritage of Western philosophy, ontology, as well as opposing attitudes. Where Wojtyła searches for participation, Lévinas proposes separation. It seems that the philosophy of Lévinas shows some kind of inability to rise above the history of one’s own nation.