Mark Cousins: The universal and the remnant

19 Feb 2010

Architectural Association

London, United Kingdom


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Since the emergence of agriculture and the appearance of the city, human proximity has been a central issue for culture. Most religious thought has privileged the idea of the neighbour as expressing the supreme religious value of Love Thy Neighbour, common in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In philosophy it has emerged more in terms of the polis and then as the idea of a community. It has always been noticed that relations with neighbours have been particularly tense and have been the basis for outbreaks of hostility. The lectures consider arguments in the 20th century that cast doubt on the idea of the neighbour as a guiding principle for ethics and for social solidarity. It pursues these arguments in an analysis of the way in which hostility and antagonism frequently erupt between neighbours. It links this to the continuing failure within architecture and urbanism to provide an alternative approach to human proximity. The series will continue on Fridays 5 and 12 March.

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