Ethics in-between - Ethics in a heterotopian world

Wolfgang Leyk
University Church of Erlangen-Neustadt, Germany

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Ingår i: Proceedings from The 49th Societas Ethica Annual Conference 2012; Theme: Ethics and Migration; August 23-26; 2012; Lucian Blaga University Sibiu; Romania

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 97:14, s. 161-171

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Publicerad: 2014-04-24

ISBN: 978-91-7519-297-0

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The growing number of homeless and stateless persons challenges ethics because territorialized concepts of law; status or nationality no longer meet the needs of these people. This paper analyzes Foucault’s concept of heterotopia as a tool for a better under- standing of this situation; for a reasoned ethical answer and first steps into another spatiality. Heterotopia is also understood as alternative to frameworks like human rights or territorialized concepts and implies some philosophical and even theological problems. Exploring Paul Tillich’s concept of time and space it can be shown that there are connections between theological topology and Foucault’s topography. Therefore heterotopian heuristics are considered a complementary method for analysis of ethical problems.


Heterotopia; migration; refugee; city; denizenship; rights; responsibility; boat people; time; space; Tillich; fulfilment


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