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Art and Responsibility

March 30, 2011

Great works of art not only help us transcend our lives but create an ethical ground for our being. According to the French phenomenologist Emmanuel Levinas, transcendence is not a modality of essence – not a question of being or not-being – but rather an ethical imperative; it is not a “safe room” of solipsistic inwardness but a site of responsibility for others. In the transcendental beyond, we are ordered toward the responsibility for the other.

Here are my two favorite global aid agencies: MercyCorps and Doctors Without Borders.

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