Hospitality and the Maternal

Hypatia 27 (1):163-181 (2012)
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Abstract

This article engages the concept of hospitality as it relates to the maternal. I critically evaluate the current conceptions of hospitality by Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, focusing on their dematerialized definition of the feminine found at the heart of hospitality, and Derrida's aporia of hospitality that deals with ownership. The foundation of hospitality, I show, is the maternal relation and its specific acts of hospitality that encompass the notions of gift and generosity. While remaining unthought in philosophy, however, maternal acts of hospitality are appropriated when hospitality is defined as interiority, habitation, expectancy, and unconditional welcoming of the other within oneself. I argue that hospitality would remain Derrida's and his proponents' “impossible” ethic as long as it undercuts its own promise, does not fully think through its foundation in the maternal, and fails to welcome the mother unconditionally

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References found in this work

Totality and infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh,: Duquesne University Press.
Speculum of the Other Woman.Luce Irigaray - 1985 - Cornell University Press.
Anthropology from a pragmatic point of view.Immanuel Kant - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Robert B. Louden.
An Ethics of Sexual Difference.Luce Irigaray - 1984 - Cornell University Press.
Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas.Jacques Derrida - 1999 - Stanford University Press.

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