Questioning the “We” in Times of Global Threats with Butler and Levinas

In: Research in Phenomenology
Lucia Angelino Researcher (Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow), Archives Husserl – Pays Germaniques, UMR 8547 CNRS/ENS, École normale supérieure Paris France

Search for other papers by Lucia Angelino in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



Today, the “we” has not lost its place in contemporary debates. On the contrary, it has become a crucial question in the political and philosophical debates relating to global-scale disasters and traumatic events, which expose all of humanity to the same risks and same threats. In a dramatic and paradigmatic way, these events invite us to “mourn” the fantasy of self-sufficiency of the I and remind us to which extent our lives are immediately linked to those of others. At the same time, however, these events, which yields the potential to reveal a relationality constitutive of “who we are,” also suggest the need to reframe our understanding of the “we,” and to overcome the us/them divide upon which it has been construed until now. In this essay, I take up this challenge by first engaging in a critical discussion of Judith Butler’s ethics of vulnerability, and then turning to the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 185 117 12
Full Text Views 75 33 1
PDF Views & Downloads 137 49 1