Daniel Sibony

Giving Yourself or Sharing Yourself ? Publication date : January 1, 2000

How can one be oneself without denying others? How can one consider others without negating oneself? How can one avoid the two extremes of complete selfishness (indifference, lack of respect, cruelty, loss of humanity) and total self-sacrifice (the cult of guilt and suffering , playing the victim’s role, renouncing the self)? In matters of ethics, Levinas is now generally regarded as an authority. He is placed on a pedestal, and his work is discussed with respect and reverence. Because Levinas showed us what was best in humanity, few writers dare question him. Daniel Sibony is the exception, going so far as to ask, “What if Levinas was wrong?” What if the ethics of the “other”, of responsibility for others — which can lead us to risk our lives for others — resulted not only in a dead-end (inefficient action, lack of action, justification of past actions) but also kept us from knowing ourselves and, consequently, others and the true nature of our relations with them?

Daniel Sibony was trained as a philosopher and is a practising psychoanalyst. He is the author of several best-selling works.