Edited by Hans Fink and Robert Stern
This collection of essays by leading international philosophers considers central themes in the ethics of Danish philosopher Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905–1981). Løgstrup was a Lutheran theologian much influenced by phenomenology and by strong currents in Danish culture, to which he himself made important contributions. The essays in What Is Ethically Demanded? K. E. Løgstrup’s Philosophy of Moral Life are divided into four sections. The first section deals predominantly with Løgstrup’s relation to Kant and, through Kant, the system of morality in general. The second section focuses on how Løgstrup stands in connection with Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Levinas. The third section considers issues in the development of Løgstrup’s ethics and how it relates to other aspects of his thought. The final section covers certain central themes in Løgstrup’s position, particularly his claims about trust and the unfulfillability of the ethical demand. The volume includes a previously untranslated early essay by Løgstrup, “The Anthropology of Kant’s Ethics,” which defines some of his basic ethical ideas in opposition to Kant’s. The book will appeal to philosophers and theologians with an interest in ethics and the history of philosophy.
Contributors: K. E. Løgstrup, Svend Andersen, David Bugge, Svein Aage Christoffersen, Stephen Darwall, Peter Dews, Paul Faulkner, Hans Fink, Arne Grøn, Alasdair MacIntyre, Wayne Martin, Kees van Kooten Niekerk, George Pattison, Robert Stern, and Patrick Stokes.
“Knud Ejler Løgstrup’s The Ethical Demand should have been recognized long ago as, at least, a minor classic if not a landmark in twentieth-century moral philosophy. Hopefully Fink and Stern’s excellent collection of essays will help Løgstrup’s writings receive the reading and reception they deserve. The best of the essays in this volume are philosophically subtle and morally engaged in ways that reveal the significance and depth of Løgstrup’s demanding ethical thought.” — J. M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research
“This book introduces Løgstrup’s central idea of ‘the ethical demand’ and probes various aspects of how it should best be understood and its significance for ethics. While some recent work has explored the relation between The Ethical Demand and some of Løgstrup’s later work, especially on the ‘sovereign expressions of life,’ one thing that is interesting about this collection is that while it further advances those discussions, it also traces elements of Løgstrup’s thought back to his earlier work—chiefly, but not only, through the inclusion of a translation of his relatively early essay ‘The Anthropology of Kant’s Ethics.’ The collection will make a significant contribution to the progress of the study of Løgstrup in English. It will make an excellent companion volume to other titles published by Notre Dame by and about Løgstrup.” — John Lippitt, University of Hertfordshire