Seminar – 31 October – Heonik Kwon

October 19th, 2017 by


Tuesday 31  October 2017

4.30–6.00 Mond Building Seminar Room

Heonik Kwon

University of Cambridge

On Universal Hospitality

Immanuel Kant’s vision for a peaceable world society is crucially based on a theory of hospitality. Hidden in his rendering of universal hospitality, however, is a notion of reciprocity, the idea that the act of providing hospitality to strangers assumes the possibility of receiving hospitality from strangers. This paper will explore the conceptual relationship between the law of hospitality (which assumes a dual concentric hierarchy of inside versus outside and the subject’s self-conscious position as an insider) and the principle of reciprocity (in which both the inside and the outside become constitutive of the historical self). The discussion will be partly based on a consideration of the moral philosophy of Nguyen Du, a powerful literary scholar of the eighteenth-century Vietnam.