Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia vol:62 issue:2-4 pages:697-711
The article starts with the recognition of the fact that each human being is driven by the tendency to auto-preservation and, thus, to persevere in being, secure its corresponding living space and safeguard the proper place under the sun. Societies are understood as societies of self-preserving individuals wherein each member is after his or her own interests. This drive to realize oneself, however, can take on violent forms and may happen at the expense of the self-realization of others. Drawing on the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, the paper shows that the violence we inflict on others can be traced back to our inclination to preserve our own being. The question here asked, therefore, is one about the very possibility of violence and peace, and, ultimately, if violence can at all be seen as simple the way be are as human persons.