unconditional hospitality

Open Borders: Unconditional Hospitality

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Lecture date: Sun, 26th Jul, 2015
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Unconditional hospitality is a central idea in contemporary ethical philosophy and it has important implications for psychology. Its political equivalent is the notion of open borders as a utopian critique of nationality and national identity. We can become good hosts by temporarily interrupting the self and our habitual concerns about ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and also by reframing our notion of identity, including national identity.

Why ‘unconditional’ hospitality? Because conditional hospitality (the only hospitality we know) has not really worked. Born in the Greek polis and the oman forum, developed further via the Judaeo-Christian tradition and Kantian/Hegelian philosophy, this type of hospitality is juridical: it is handled by codes, norms and regulations, and it is inscribed within the metaphysics of violence. We need an unconditional hospitality because ethics without hospitality is no ethics at all.

 

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Philosophy, Thinking on Sunday

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Manu Bazzano

Manu Bazzano is an author, psychotherapist, and lecturer at Roehampton University. He was ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk in both the Soto and Rinzai traditions. His latest books are Spectre of the Stranger: towards a Phenomenology of Hospitality and After Mindfulness: New Perspectives on Psychology and Meditation. For more information, visit www.manubazzano.com.