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DOI 10.12887/29-2016-2-114-05



Dobrosław KOT – The Enigma of the Face


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The metaphor of the face is the central and simultaneously the most problematic concept of the philosophy of dialogue. Any attempt at cognitively ‘grasping’ the face of the Other involves numerous tensions which may be conveyed in a series of opposites such as: literality—metaphoricity, experience—encounter, concreteness—generality, and question—answer. The face cannot be reduced to either of the opposing poles, and it must be inevitably placed in-between them. Still the ‘in-between’ situation of the face is not tantamount to inertia since it causes a continuous dynamism responsible for the fact that the metaphor of the face is always ambiguous and imprecise. On the one hand, the problem of ‘grasping’ the face may be seen as evidence pointing to a weakness in human thinking. Yet on the other hand the indeterminateness of the face might reflect the only way to think the ‘Other’ as actually other, continuously evading philosophical categorization.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: face, encounter, revelation, dialogue, conversation, metaphor, trace, ‘in-between,’ tension

Contact: Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Economics and International Relations, Cracow University of Economics,
ul. Rakowicka 16,
31-510 Cracow, Poland

E-mail: dobrokot@interia.pl
Phone: +48 12 2937572
http://uekwww.uek.krakow.pl/pl/uczelnia/wydzialy/wydzial-gospodarki-i-administracji-publicznej/wydzial/katedry/katedra-filozofii/zaklad-filozofii-czlowieka.html



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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 12.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887