Altruism or the Other as the Essence of Existence

A Philosophical Passage to Being Altruistic


Iraklis Ioannidis offers fresh, yet radical, philosophical insights into the much contested topic of altruism. Whereas the debate on altruism, since time immemorial, consists in trying to determine whether we are biologically altruistic or not, Ioannidis explores altruism otherwise. Following Nietzsche, he traces altruism to the phenomenon of promising or giving one’s word. His analysis provokes us to think that our possibility to exist cannot be realized without this event.

Ioannidis’ passage to altruism attempts to perform altruism while exploring it. By reversing the axioms of classical phenomenology, what he calls unbracketing, he welcomes in his writing space any discourse, any human expression which could help the philosophical investigation.

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Iraklis (Hercules) Ioannidis, PGDE (2019), PhD (2018), is a Teacher of Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Classics at Dartford Grammar School and an affiliate researcher in the Existential Network Scotland. He has published articles on Husserl’s phenomenology and on the topic of the gift.
Preface: For the Words That Follow Unquestioned

1 Prologue
 1 Introduction

2 Introducing Altruism
 1 Altruism or Living for Others
 2 Another Positivist Attempt
 3 The Duty of (Effective) Altruism
 4 Moving towards the Other beyond Arguments and Habits

3 Pathway One: We Must Live for Others
 1 Minding the Gap of Prescription
 2 From Teleology to Deontology and Back
 3 From Arguing for Altruism towards Beli(e)ving in Altruism
 4 Skepsis on Intentionality
 5 Biosis of Promise

4 Pathway Two: The Other
 1 Tracing the Other
 2 Husserl’s Other in Me
 3 Heidegger and the (In)Authentic Being-with Others
 4 Sartre’s Dynamic Self-Other in Entropy
 5 Hodological Options, Horizonizing

5 Pathway Three: Presence and Existence
 1 Meet-in(g)the ‘Meta’ of the Physical
 2 Metaphysical Mimodrama

6 Pathway Four: To Follow a Scot River or to River a Scot Follow or the Logos of Heraclitus
 1 Undertaking to Disengage Heraclitus’s Logos from Thinking With(in) Being
 2 The Debate
 3 Simple Logos?
 4 Reading DK 1 without Being
 5 Logos through the Other
 6 C-secting the Feminine Body
 7 Logos as Existence: Death and the Promise

7 Pathway Five: Toward Understanding and Meaning as Altruism
Requesting the Eyes/Is of the Other
 1 Meaning Like a Reli(e)ving Movement from Dark to Light: Kant and the Blind Intuition
 2 Knowledge as Delight: Heidegger and the Phenomenon
 3 Peirce’s In-decision and Phaneron

8 Pathway Six: Meaning as a Passage from the Other
An Unbracketing
 1 To-words and toward Meaning Out of Nothing
 2 The Gift(Ing Logos) of the Other
 3 The Givenness of the Orphan and the Orphanity of the Gift
 4 Passage, Promise, Gifting Logos & a Door
 5 Kafka’s (A)Mazing D(o)or-Gift

9 Epilogical Touches
An Authentically Poor or Aporetic Conclusion


All interested in altruism, history of moral philosophy, ethics, phenomenology, existential and feminist psychoanalysis, intersubjectivity, empathy, and anyone interested in Heraclitus, Aristotle, Plato, logos, Peirce and Kafka.