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Concern for the Other

Perspectives on the Ethics of K. E. Logstrup

Edited by Svend Andersen and Kees van Kooten Niekerk

Publication Year: 2007

The Danish philosopher K. E. Løgstrup is best known in the Anglo-American world for his original work in ethics, primarily in The Ethical Demand (original Danish edition, 1956). Løgstrup continued to write extensively on issues in ethics and phenomenology throughout his life, and extracts from some of his later writings are now also available in translation in Beyond the Ethical Demand. In Concern for the Other: The Ethics of K. E. Løgstrup, eleven scholars examine the structure, intention, and originality of Løgstrup's ethics as a whole. This collection of essays is a companion to Beyond the Ethical Demand, as well as to The Ethical Demand. The essays examine Løgstrup’s crucial concept of the “sovereign expressions of life”; his view of moral principles as a substitute for, or inferior form of, ethics; his relationships to other philosophers, including the twentieth-century British moral philosophers; and the role of his Lutheran background in his ethics. Løgstrup also firmly advanced the controversial thesis, examined by several essays in this volume, that the demand for “other-concern” central to his ethics does not depend on religious faith.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Knud E. L


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pp. ix

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pp. 1-8

Løgstrup’s ethics of the ethical demand was formulated half a century ago. Nevertheless, it seems to be receiving renewed attention today. This might, in part, be a result of its tendency to reflect several important trends in contemporary moral thinking. ...

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The Conception of Ethics and the Ethical in K. E. L

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pp. 9-28

The Ethical Demand is the most important work of moral philosophy written in Danish in the twentieth century, and it remains the central work by its author, K. E. L

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In the Eyes of a Lutheran Philosopher: How L

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pp. 29-54

Løgstrup regarded himself as both a Christian theologian and a philosopher. Accordingly, his ethics is dual in nature. Here I deal with his philosophical ethics. As the reader will discover, however, the thought of Martin Luther plays a decisive role in Løgstrup’s philosophical ethics. ...

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The Genesis of K. E. L

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pp. 55-84

In his book Opg

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Principles and Situations: K. E. L

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pp. 85-102

The year that Løgstrup’s The Ethical Demand was published, 1956, was, as it happens, the year in which I began my own philosophical studies in England, and Løgstrup’s remarks on British moral philosophy strike many familiar notes. The writers he is interested in were the ones who provided the focus ...

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The Use of Principles in Ethical Situations: A Response to Almond

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pp. 103-112

Brenda Almond’s essay in this volume is an important contribution to the understanding of K. E. Løgstrup’s philosophical world. Løgstrup formulated some of his views in contrast to positions in British moral philosophy, and in doing so he challenged both a rationalist approach to ethics ...

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The Liquid Modern Adventures of the "Sovereign Expression of Life"

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pp. 113-138

I came across the first English edition of Knud Ejler Løgstrup’s The Ethical Demand by chance, during a sabbatical term in the Newfoundland Memorial University. While collecting ideas and sources for my Postmodern Ethics, I browsed through the library shelves in search of a version of contemporary ...

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The Ethical Demand in a Global Perspective: A Response to Bauman

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pp. 139-146

Zygmunt Bauman has written an engaging and thought-provoking essay on the ethics of K. E. Løgstrup in which he raises the important question of how Løgstrup’s ethics could be understood in a modern global society. Bauman’s questions are all the more stimulating to me in light of my work ...

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Human Nature and Human Dependence: What Might a Thomist Learn from Reading L

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pp. 147-166

Thomism does not confront its philosophical rivals as a completed system of thought, and not primarily even as a set of propositions, but rather in the first place as a set of questions, questions that do indeed presuppose the truth of certain assertions and the soundness of certain arguments, ...

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Sovereign Expressions of Life, Virtues, and Actions: A Response to MacIntyre

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pp. 167-176

Thomism is not a closed system of thoughts and propositions, or even a system at all, according to Alasdair MacIntyre, but a kind of inquiry, an open-ended quest with reference to a particular kind of question evolving through history. This way of describing the historicity of Thomistic thinking holds true, ...

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Donum or Datum? K. E. Løgstrup’s Religious Account of the Gift of Life

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pp. 177-206

K. E. Løgstrup’s reflections on ethics proceed from what he regarded as “the foundational relation,” which is that human beings live together on the basis of trust rather than distrust.1 There is, in Løgstrup, a strong protest against philosophical attempts to ground morality in a conception of ourselves ...

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A Response to Hans Reinders's "Donum or Datum?"

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pp. 207-216

I will comment here on all three points. The first is the central point in Reinders’s essay, and I discuss it at some length. Does Løgstrup’s ethical view presuppose that one adopts a theological perspective? Reinders says it does. I, like Løgstrup, maintain that it does not. ...


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pp. 217-218


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pp. 219-225

E-ISBN-13: 9780268074685
E-ISBN-10: 0268074682
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268020316
Print-ISBN-10: 0268020310

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Ethics.
  • Løgstrup, K. E. (Knud Ejler), 1905-.
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