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Humanity and Paternal Eros: The Father-Son Relationship in Comparative Perspective

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This paper examines the human relational patterns presented in the philosophical writings of the Confucian thinker Dai Zhen (戴震1724–77) and the Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas’s (1906–95) Totality and Infinity to uncover the ethical significance of the father-son relationship. I argue that for both thinkers the father-son relation is not just one type of human relationship among other social dyads, but rather, of greater significance, serves as the paradigmatic model of the ethical human relationship in bringing to light the idea of the ethical self as a responsible being in relation to others.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy and Religion, The University of Mississippi University MS 38677 USA


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