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

Ioannidis, Iraklis (2019) The other as the essence of existence: a journal of a philosophical passage to altruism. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: A previous version of Chapter 3 has been published in Sophia Philosophical Review (2017, VOL X, 2).
Keywords: Critical philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology, deconstruction, post-structuralism, altruism, promise, gift, logos, adoption, giving one's word, existence, death.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Information Studies
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Supervisor's Name: Stuart, Dr. Susan and Olivier, Dr. Salazar-Ferrer
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Dr. IRAKLIS IOANNIDIS
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-30804
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 May 2019 12:58
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2019 13:50
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/30804

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