this issue
next article in this issue

Document Details :

Title: Ethiek van ver en van nabij - Ethics of Distance and of Nearness
Subtitle: Reflectie en distantie: drie modellen - Reflection and Self-Distance
Author(s): TAELS, Johan
Journal: Bijdragen
Volume: 59    Issue: 4   Date: 1998   
Pages: 369-390
DOI: 10.2143/BIJ.59.4.2002346

Abstract :
‘In abstracto you might be able to love your fellow-creature, from a distance it is even possible, but from close by it is impossible’, according to the intellectual revolutionary Iwan in The Karamazow Brothers. Starting from this famous statement, the question is raised towards the relation between ethics of nearness and ethics of distance. In a first paragraph it is shown thát and why the concept of ‘reflexive distance’ might be considered as the psychological foundation of moral consciousness, more specifically in modern times. By means of this concept, a distinction is outlined in the second paragraph between three models of ethics that are typical of current culture: a rational and an esthetic one (i.c. ethics of distance) and a concrete one (i.c. ethics of nearness). Eventually, it is concluded that a potential surplus value of concrete ethics consists in a bond which has often been denied or neglected: that between ethics and reality.