HomeARETEvol. 4 no. 1 (2016)

Emmanuel Levinas’ Concept of “The Other” and its Relation to the Filipino Concept of “Kapwa-Tao”

Lawrence T Pelayo | Asisclo Iii M. Abonado | Raymundo R. Pavo

Discipline: Philosophy



The aim of this philosophical study was to balance and contrast the concepts of Emmanuel Levinas’ the Other and Filipino Concept of Kapwatao. This study utilized qualitative descriptive-comparative method. After the exposition of the concept of the Other by Levinas, there is the “I” who is empty by nature, sees objects around him and appropriates it for his own enjoyment for his survival but confronted by the face Other person, through face-to-face, imposes responsibility to the “I”. The researcher discussed the pakikipagkapwa and some definitions of kapwa and tao. Furthermore, the work of Fr. Albert Alejo discussed the loob ng tao (interiority of man) as a simile, a home where my kapwa or other person is my neighbor. Through the analysis of two concepts; the Other and kapwa-tao, is closely related, in relating to-and-for-the-other-person. On one hand, for Levinas, the I is radically separated from the other because of exteriority, on the other hand, Fr. Alejo’s understanding of loob ng tao (interiority of man) that the kapwa (the Other) is that the loob ng tao (interiority of man) is a simile describe as a home where the kapwa is inside of the I called my neighbor.