The other as the essence of existence: a journal of a philosophical passage to altruism

Dissertation, University of Glasgow (2019)

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Abstract
This research is about altruism. In our first chapter, our quest to find whether we are essentially altruistic starts with questioning particular ways of inquiry and proposes a philosophy of unbracketing. In our second chapter, we realise that our proposal starts with an imperative – a prescription. We begin by meditating on the phenomenon of prescription which seems to precede all ways of inquiry. Our analysis of prescription reveals that altruism is to prescribe oneself towards an Other. This type of prescription is to promise a future for an Other. To promise is to give one’s word and to undertake to realising it. In our third chapter, we explore the act of “giving one’s word.” To give one’s word is beyond a speech act. In fact, it is to give one’s logos. An altruistic attempt is carried out in this chapter to liberate ‘logos’ from particular conceptions and allow for its universal meaning to emerge. Logos is traced back to its inceptual conception as existence or will to power – a will to future. This philosophical excavation leads us to our fourth chapter where we re-encounter our original paradox. That is, while human reality starts with a promise of helping someone to make sense – to understand – we have been trying to understand understanding, or how we make sense, by removing the Other and by focusing only on subjective conditions. In this chapter, we reveal how to understand an Other is an altruistic act. In our final chapter, we carefully observe that human existence is a gift from the Other. We describe this gift as a metaphysical passage from being to existence – an altruistic act. A passage which is created by an Other who promises to give us the means to be able to create meaning, that is to say, to exist.
Keywords promise  altruism  philosophy of existence  adoption  gift
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat.Thomas Nagel - 1974 - E-Journal Philosophie der Psychologie 5.
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Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

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