- This event has passed.
Annual Aquinas Lecture, Prof William Desmond
23rd January: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Communities of the Metaxu: Interdependence beyond Dependence and Independence
In modernity we tend to identify the meaning of freedom with the idea of autonomy. By comparison with autonomy, we find problematic the idea of heteronomy, or variations of it. Autonomy stresses the nomos of to auto, the law of the self/same; heteronomy stresses the nomos of to heteron, the law of the other. These notions are correlative to an understanding of independence and dependence, the first often given primacy, the second often made subordinate. I want to argue that a satisfactory concept of interdependence is difficult to comprehended if our thinking is constrained by these oppositions. This is especially evident if we stress the “between,” the “inter” of interdependence. I want to explore the matter in terms of what I call a metaxological understanding of community. A metaxological understanding stresses a logos of the metaxu (between), stresses our need to word the between. This metaxological understanding of community will illuminate ways of “being together” that point towards interdependence as beyond the dyadic contrast of dependency and independence. I want to stress a more original porosity of being prior to autonomy and beyond autonomy, a patience of being before a striving to be. Forget the porosity and the patience and we miss how our freedom is an endowed freedom, a freedom received as itself from what is other to itself. A richer understanding of interdependence is possible if we bear these considerations in mind.
David Cook Chair in Philosophy, Villanova University, Thomas A.F. Kelly Visiting Chair in Philosophy, Maynooth University, and Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven.
Venue: Blackfriars - St Giles Oxford, OX1 3LY United Kingdom