• Tine Skaaning Ditlevsen
4. term, Applied Philosophy, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis attempts to characterize what “the good relation” is based on. This happens on the ba-sis of inquiries into topics related to the good relation. This will be carried out, analyzed, and pre-sented through the lens of Løgstrup’s, Buber’s, and Lévinas’ philosophical works. Løgstrup of-fers a theory that makes clear the significance of trust with regard to relations, and how norms can be turned into opinions and prejudices in professional relations. The three philosophers present thoughts on the same subject, but they offer different theoretical paths to understanding how we can get closer to the good relation.

For Levinas, the ethical demand arises in the concrete encounter with another human being, and it concerns our tendency to categorize, conceptualize, and adjust the other so as to fit them into our own understanding. The encounter with the other’s face is something completely different from oneself, and it is meant to remind us of the responsibility and acceptance we have to offer the oth-er human being. Levinas’s thinking is closely related to Buber’s demand that one has to be pre-sent in a relation through two different attitudes to the other. Levinas considers the other to be unique because of the asymmetrical relationship that is there to remind us that the other is radical-ly other from us.

Buber’s radical thoughts are based on the actual encounter in which the individual becomes itself through the relationship with another human being. Buber carves out the relation as consisting of an I-Thou relation and an I-It relation in which nothing exists by itself except for the basic phrase I-Thou and the basic phrase I-It. Buber’s theory, thereby, shows two different attitudes within the relation that are significant for how we enter relations and how we encounter another human be-ing.

The challenges and the demands of professional relations are connected to encountering the citi-zen in specific situations, regardless of which character or context that can affect the preunder-standing of the professional and, thus, bind itself to norms that pin down, reduce, and dehuman-ize the citizen. This requires of the professional that she can approach the citizen in an accepting way and be conscious of her silent knowledge, that is, the knowledge that she possesses but that she has neither put into words nor become conscious of. This concerns phenomena such as ‘si-lent knowledge’ and ‘silent relational knowledge’.

I will shed light on these aspects in this thesis and connect them to professional relations by fol-lowing the working hypothesis that categorizations and generalization create distance and hinder the possibility of personal presence in the concrete interplay of the relationship and that the ca-pacity to involve one’s own person in the relationship creates the good relation.

Publication date15 Sep 2022
Number of pages78
ID: 486780808