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Keywords:

  • existentialism;
  • transcendence;
  • alterity;
  • commonality;
  • ethics

Cosmopolitanism as the existential condition of humanity refers to the view that human beings are both transcendent and social. This is argued through another pair of concepts, commonality and difference. If humans are moral, it is because they recognise each other as sharing a basic ontology. But this morality is expressed in the sort of regard that separates ‘me’ from ‘you’. Two aspects of difference are elaborated: foreignness feared as alien but also found in oneself, and alterity as irreducibly other. How can these differences keep us both individual and social?