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Saving the lost ones

Glendinning, Simon (2022) Saving the lost ones. Oxford Literary Review, 44 (1). 89 - 109. ISSN 0305-1498

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Identification Number: 10.3366/olr.2022.0379


In an essay on the modern idea of political equality, Bernard Williams contrasts what he calls ‘the human point of view’ with a point of view marked by what he calls a ‘technical or professional attitude’. While the latter is concerned with conspicuous structures of someone’s life that might be by occupied by another, the former concerns an attitude towards a singular person, what Wittgenstein calls ‘an attitude towards a soul’ – an attitude characteristically exemplified in the relation to the other who is a friend. It is the one who is in view under such a singularising gaze that seems to be lost as soon as we start counting others, counting our friends. The paper explores the general haunting of the modern-Western idea of all people’s equality by the hazy spectre of what is disclosed by this singularising gaze, and asks how we might organise a response politically to the in each case unique and singular relation to the unique and singular other we call the friend – the one who is both altogether other and my equal.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Edinburgh University Press.
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2022 15:27
Last Modified: 31 May 2024 06:39

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