E. C. Sferrazza Papa, Etica dell’ospitalità e filosofia del debito: l’ospitalità come forma-del-debito

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Abstract

My article is an attempt to elaborate an ethic of hospitality through the economic category of debt. The first part of the essay, starting from an etymologically reflection about the term “host”, shows the intrinsic ambiguity of this figure. Host and guest are only to all appearances separated: actually they co-exist in the figure of the Foreign, which is the principal referent of an ethic of hospitality. This consideration is supported by the analysis of delphic motto gnôthi seautón (medèn ágan), that takes up the whole of the second part. In the third part of the essay, concepts of hospitality and debt are related. Debt is interpreted as debet esse, as an universal condition which belongs to human community. Thus, the interpretation of hospitality as a form-of-debt allows to have an ethical, not simply economical, vision of realty. This point of view could be useful in the analysis of the social phenomenon of immigration.