How Hospitality Can Go Above And Beyond Personal Relationships Essay

How Hospitality Can Go Above And Beyond Personal Relationships Essay

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Even though there is no consensus on what hospitality truly is, we all assume that we understand something about it as it is traditionally an everyday practice of ethics and religions (Lashley, 2000). However, we should also acknowledge that hospitality can go above and beyond personal relationships or social interactions to happen among states or between states and citizens of other states, which is so called politics (Still, 2010). In this domain, however, it appears that hospitality, controversially departing from its philosophical essence of the absolute, is heavily conditioned (Still, 2010). In this essay, I will deconstruct the article “How not to welcome refugees” written by Delman (2016) regarding the sudden hostility to refugees from Denmark, known as the world liberal darling, from a philosophical lens to first understand hospitality in political domain, acknowledge the limits of hospitality and ultimately how hospitality can turn into hostility.

Hospitality, considered as our ethics, is meaningless if we do not strive for the absolute and welcome anybody at any time they may arrive (Derrida, 2000). In other words, it is suggested that as the host, we should open up our doors to not only the known invited person, but also to “the absolute, unknown, anonymous” (Derrida, 2000: 25) without asking for any compensation, imposing any restriction or requiring any information (Westmoreland, 2008). In this case, Denmark was questioned for violating the principle of unconditional hospitality. In fact, instead of letting refugees move freely into the country, it strictly controls the number and imposes a variety of different harsh requirements on refugees such as a lengthy application process or an increase the family reunion ti...

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... over time, especially when the host society feels under threat or as the contacts with the alien increase (Lashley, 2008). This explains why after years of being nearly unconditionally hospitable to the world in general and refugees in particular (Delman, 2016), Denmark is not strictly obliged to those obligations anymore and taking its turn to the other side of the hyperbole- the hostility.

In summary, through the lens of philosophy, this essay has examined the tension between the ideology of pure hospitality and its practice in the political domain, shown the impossibility of unconditional cosmopolitism or the limits of hospitality and analysed how hospitality can turn into hostility. All of these analyses have highlighted the discourses of the article that when it comes closer to the limits of hospitality, even the most hospitable one can become hostile.

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