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What Do We Owe Each Other? By Aaron James Wendland

It’s a set written by Aaron, a researcher from the University of Tartu in Estonia and co-editor of some books. He mainly focused on philosophers’ and other critics’ concerns regarding emerging laws that came into existence during the time when the number of refugees entering Europe had increased.

Part One


This case arose as a result of the restrictions against refugees. Various laws and debates were formed in correspondence to this in Europe and in the United States, where concern for nationality had emerged. As a result, What Do We Owe Each Other regarding their needs and possessions, among other issues, arose. Levine, one of the Philosophers involved in this issue, stood out to condemn these forms, claiming they exclude humans from others.


What Do We Owe Each Other? This has been an issue in the minds of people, including great philosophers. It is clear that people are subjected to suffering and fear as a result of the restriction upheld to live with others. However, another being can prevent this. Humans are united as a community only if they can see the needs of others and correspond to them. What exactly do we owe others if not protection, care, and provision for their sufferings?


United Nations has held a debate on nationality in correspondence to Refugees. Europe is building boundaries to restrict refugees from entering. These two cases agreed upon are meant to reduce the number of refugees coming into those countries. For example, Germany emphasized fence boundaries due to the Islamic State’s attacks and assaults on women in Germany, creating fear in others. This affected people who were not related to the nationality of those nations, thereby hindering them in terms of security and fear. However, Emmanuel Levine challenges people to meet the needs of humanity. We are defined by what we do to others. This seems not to be considered by the nation the primary concern is to reduce various attacks and fears suspected to have emerged as a result of the unknown welcomed in those nations


Emmanuel Levinas, the philosopher whose family was killed by The Nazis during his arrest, had defended humanity among humans by emphasizing the relations of one human to their ability to see and provide for what others need and want. He emphasized this in three different ways, both direct and indirect ways. The necessity of helping others is the heart of hospitality. We need to protect others and see them as part of us, and finally, we need to point out the dangers of nationality. Emphasizing that this shouldn’t be used as a form of personal identity since it creates a hostile environment for others. These, if not considered, will lead to increased human suffering. He asserted that peace is primary to all but can only be shown by how we welcome and treat refugees who are in need of our hospitality. He added in his work “Ethnicity and Infinity”, that God is the face of a human, anything we do reflect what we are expected of by God. Welcoming and sharing what we have with others is what will, in turn, define us.

Part Two

He uses Levine’s views of concern and worries. Levina is a philosopher from a Jewish family in Kaunas born in 1906. He moved to France in 1923 and studied philosophy in Germany (1920). He became famous in 1930 for his stand in defending Husserl. He was drafted into the French army and later taken to prison by the Nazis but was not subjected to the camps. However, his family was killed. He so felt motivated to discuss ethical relations between human beings and their ability to respond to the needs of others. His assumptions are divided into different ways.

Danger Of Nationality:

Nationality is the result of identification as to how we differ and familiarize ourselves with others. This identification excludes others, making us believe others do not form part of us, excluding others. Although it’s a unifying factor, He indirectly explained by pointing out Generalization And Totalization which compel one human from the other. Moreover, he considers the Necessity Of Welcoming and asserts God’s presence in the face, illustrating human vulnerability. As that which defines humans only if one can protect and show hospitality to others. Hospitality is the urge to welcome others and give them what they want and need. Though we may not be able to provide for all, at least we can offer what we can. Protecting Others is another concern derived from his assumptions. Claiming that his possibility of living is based on what we give to others in correspondence to human sufferings.

Nature And Danger Of Nationality:

Nationality is the result of identification, as is how we differ and familiarize ourselves with others. According to Emmanuel Levine, people identifying themselves through nationality excludes others, killing the need for humanity. Although it’s a unifying factor, Levine goes ahead and mentions the fact that Generalization And Totalization exist as a result of nationality.; People are generalized as one as per their nationality identification they are Totalized and viewed as one as per what distinguishes them from others. These two results in stereotyping descriptions of groups, thereby producing a rift between one group and another. He went ahead and supported this by pointing out that humanity is more of seeing other people as more of which category they belong to. One can be a British but is a father, husband, and technology inventor. He says one shouldn’t be defined by his nationality but rather by who they are.


I disagree with Levine’s assumption that nationality identification promotes inhumanity in correspondence to what we owe others. The reason is that it’s a form of unity that defines the people of a given nation as one. Patriots’ of a country are united together despite their different cultures, politics, languages, and traditions. If need be, humanity can be implied among citizens through diplomacy and by giving it a sharp concern during World organizational forum debates, e.g., the United Nations meetings. Refugees are a concern requiring discussions, especially now that it is profoundly rejected by various stations, increasing harm to human existence.

Works Cited

Levinas, Emmanuel, and Philippe Nemo. “Ethics and infinity.” (1985).



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