The Ethical Demand

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University of Notre Dame Press, 1997 - Philosophy - 300 pages
Knud Ejler Løgstrup’s The Ethical Demand is the most original influential Danish contribution to moral philosophy in this century. This is the first time that the complete text has been available in English translation. Originally published in 1956, it has again become the subject of widespread interest in Europe, now read in the context of the whole of Løgstrup’s work.

The Ethical Demand marks a break not only with utilitarianism and with Kantianism but also with Kierkegaard’s Christian existentialism and with all forms of subjectivism. Yet Løgstrup’s project is not destructive. Rather, it is a presentation of an alternative understanding of interpersonal life. The ethical demand presupposes that all interaction between human beings involves a basic trust. Its content cannot be derived from any rule. For Løgstrup, there is not Christian morality and secular morality. There is only human morality. The Ethical Demand is of the highest relevance to contemporary debate, especially around those issues raised by Levinas. It will exert a steadily increasing influence both in theology and philosophy.

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Concerning the attempt to give a definition in strictly human
The Fact Which Is the Source of the Silent Demand
The demand that grows out of the trust which in a basic and all

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About the author (1997)

Knud Ejler Løgstrup was born in Copenhagen in 1905; he studied philosophy and theology in Denmark, France, Germany, and Austria. In 1943, he became Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Aarhus, where he worked until his retirement in 1975. Two of the four volumes of his major work on metaphysics were published only after his death in 1981.

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