The Other’s Place in the Space of the Relation: Karl Löwith and Martin Buber as Theorists of Duheit

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 39)


This paper addresses the issue of human spatiality as existential givenness, taking as its fundamental orientation relationality, namely the natural tendency towards the other as my co-man (Mitmensch) for the purposes of instituting, together with him, the first place for such a spatiality: the being-with-one-another (Miteinandersein). If the being-with-one-another embodies the first place of this spatiality, then the encounter between an I and a you—that is to say, otherness declined in the second person, as Duheit—represents the culmination of such a place. On this basis the τόπος of the Miteinandersein emerges as an οἶκος and the achievement of such an ‘oikological’ rank makes the space of the relation a real Lebensraum, a living space. Given these assumptions, a comparison will be offered between two paradigmatic modes of interpreting Duheit, the outcomes of a short season in which continental philosophy questioned itself on this issue with unusual urgency and depth. On the one hand, the Zwischenontologie (“Between-ontology”) of Martin Buber, on the other, the Mitanthropologie (“With-anthropology”) of Karl Löwith. The comparison here proposed will reveal that the philosophical question of otherness is essentially a matter of measure, namely that the promotion of the space of the relation established by I and you to the rank of οἶκος and Lebensraum depends on its ability to stay within the limit of an anthropic perimeter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human SciencesUniversity of BasilicataPotenzaItaly

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