ISBN : 9780198855989
The Ethical Demand (1956) by K. E. Logstrup is one of the great works of modern moral philosophy: it is presented here in a new translation with introduction and notes. Logstrup puts forward his distinctive view concerning our vulnerability to each other and what this requires of us in response. He starts by considering Jesus's 'proclamation' to love your neighbour and how this can be understood in 'purely human terms' as relating to basic features of our existence. Reflecting on the phenomenon of trust, Logstrup emphasizes the fundamental interdependence of human life and how this gives rise to an 'ethical demand' on us to care for the other, which he characterizes as radical, silent, one-sided, and unfulfillable. In order to make sense of a demand of this sort, Logstrup argues, we must see 'life as a gift', rather than treating ourselves as the sovereign grounds for our own existence. He contrasts this demand to social norms, which are often reciprocal in this way, and argues that while such norms are changeable, the ethical demand itself is absolute. Logstrup therefore makes a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the nature of-and basis for-our obligations to each other. In this critical edition, Logstrup's original text is accurately rendered into readable English and paired with an introduction which explains the main themes and wider context of the work.
A chronology of Logstrup's life
Bjorn Rabjerg and Robert Stern: Introduction
The Ethical Demand
1 The Fact From Which the Silent Demand Arises
3 The Radicality of the Demand and the Social Norms
4 The Changeability of the Social Norms
5 Is There a Christian Ethics?
6 Antagonism Towards the One-Sided Demand
7 Is the Radical Demand Destructive on Account of its Radical Character?
8 Making Compromises with the Demand
9 The Ethical Decision
10 Science and Ethics
11 Poetry and Ethics
12 The Unfulfillability of the Demand and the Proclamation Of Jesus
13 Polemical Epilogue