Generosity: Variations on a theme from Aristotle to Levinas

Heythrop Journal 51 (3):442-453 (2010)


This paper traces the concept and phenomenon of generosity from Aristotle to Emannuel Levinas and beyond. The question motivating this investigation is: must the generous act be restricted by a rational calculation of correct, or prudent, giving? Answers to this question vary. Aristotle and Kant would answer in the affirmative, while Emerson and Levinas would not. The bulk of this paper is dedicated to Levinas's characterization of excessive generosity as a condition for the fundamental ethical relation, namely, the generous welcome of the Other. I end by considering the phenomenon of generosity from the point of view of the mid‐20th century Mexican philosopher, Emilio Uranga

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,722

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

39 (#295,345)

6 months
1 (#387,390)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Carlos Alberto Sanchez
San Jose State University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work

The Gift of Mexican Historicism.Carlos Sánchez - 2018 - Continental Philosophy Review 51 (3):439-457.
An Account of Generous Action and Esteem in Pāli Buddhism.Nicholaos Jones - 2020 - International Journal of Buddhist Thought and Culture 30 (2):195-225.

Add more citations