Other Voices, v.2, n.3 (January 2005)
Copyright © 2005, Other Voices/Alphonso Lingis, all rights reserved.
On the occasion of encounters in Peru and in Madagascar, the speaker finds that the mind of another may be definitively incomprehensible. Today we understand "the mind of God"—the origins and workings of the whole physical universe—but not the mind of another of our own species. Can we then understand fear, hatred, terror? In trust, one attaches to someone whose words or whose movements one does not understand adequately or at all, whose reasons or motives one does not see. This is a fundamental inclination of the human mind. Is not trust even more fundamental than belief in what we do know?
Resource: Unintelligible Lines, Unknown Paths
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Alphonso Lingis is professor of philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. He has published a number of texts including Excesses: Eros and Culture (1984), Phenomenological Explanations (1986), Deathbound Subjectivity (1989), The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common (1994), Abuses (1994), Foreign Bodies (1994), Sensation: Intelligibility in Sensibility (1995), and Dangerous Emotions (1999). His work adeptly encompasses both personal experience and modern philosophy, drawing from phenomenology, existentialism and ethics. His latest book, Trust, was published by University of Minnesota Press, 2004.