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Lecture by Byung-Chul Han

The expulsion of difference and the value of hospitality


The time in which the Other existed is over. The Other as mystery, as friend, as desire, as nightmare is fading away to be replaced by a hell in which everything is the same, everything indifferent. According to the South Korean-born philosopher Byung-Chul Han, whether it is because we are too self-centred and have, accordingly, become “entrepreneurs of the self”, or because we directly shun what is alien to us, this situation condemns humans to solitude, depression and hatred. Without the prodding of strangeness, this can only worsen. The only possible alternative is to recover communication with the Other, to expose oneself to his or her gaze, voice and thought, and to remember that this necessarily requires giving an identity to the Other as well as a response.

Presenters: Cecilia Dreymüller

Participants: Byung-Chul Han

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