The Faces of Human Vulnerability

  • Rarita Mihail Associate Professor PhD, „Dunarea de Jos” University
Keywords: Vulnerability, suffering, subjectivity, socialising, Freud, Levinas, Habermas


The notion of vulnerability is one of the beliefs of a recent current of moral and political philosophy, namely care ethics. Stemming, especially, from the North American feminist movement, this care ethics, based on the rejection of a universal and abstract morals, privileges the relational dimension based on the orientation towards human vulnerability.Subject to the weight of the tyranny of normality and perfection, contemporary societies, glorifying the individual who is useful and performant, struggle to hide, or more often than not deny the vulnerability of human beings. The notion of vulnerability appeared not only as a mutual sign of any person who is in a dependent situation, but also as one of the constitutive dimensions of the essence of living beings and of their life environment. In this article, the notion of vulnerability will be studied by identifying the representative themes of human vulnerability particular to their life and its conditions of being. Firstly, the hypothesis proposed by Freud in Le malaise dans la culture (2010)represents the underlying basis of this study on human vulnerability. Next, two important concepts guide the study proposed: the vulnerability inherent to human subjectivity, from the perspective of Lévinas, and the one akin the process of socialising of human beings, from the perspective of Habermas.


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How to Cite
Mihail, R. (2022). The Faces of Human Vulnerability. LUMEN Proceedings, 17, 432-436.