THE REPORT OF THE PAPER PRESENTATION BY FR. JULIEN JACKERS - “The Face of (O) other”
On 19th of March 2018 on the solemnity of St. Joseph, Don Bosco Chinthanaloka institute of philosophy and humanities had the immense joy, of having the paper presentation by Rev. Dr. Julien Jackers SDB on the theme “The face of the (O) other”. Fr. Julien is a catholic priest belonging to the society of St. John Bosco (Belgium province). He has a wide range of teaching experience for about four decades. He has taught philosophy in almost all the English medium Salesian institutes of philosophy in both Africa and Asia. At present he shares his expertise in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Tanzania and Burma as a competent teacher of philosophy.
The presentation was based on the face of the other about which Emmanuel Levinas spoke in length. In Levinas argues that it is not only possible but of the highest importance to understand one’s humanity through the humanity of the other. Based in a new appreciation for ethics, and taking new departure from the phenomenology of Hegel, Heidegger, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty, the idealism of Plato and Kant, and the scepticism of Nietzsche and Blanchot, Levinas rehabilitates humanism and restores its promises.
Painfully aware of the long history of dehumanization that reached its apotheosis in Hitler and Nazism, Levinas does not underestimate the difficulty with reconciling oneself with another. We find our humanity, Levinas argues, not through mathematics, or rational metaphysics. Rather, it is found in recognition that the suffering and mortality of others are the obligations and morality of the self.