Date of Submission



This thesis is an attempt to develop a dialogue between the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Porter's Thomistic theory of the natural law, and the virtue of solidarity as expressed in Catholic Social Teaching. Further, it seeks to explore the implications that such a dialogue would have for our understanding of moral reasoning. It is framed by the following hypothesis: It is possible to develop a set of robust links between the understanding of the human person presented in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas and Jean Porter's theory of the natural law. Such links can both specify some of the ethical implications of Levinas' thought and develop Porter's theory in an original way. Furthermore, when the links between the two authors are combined with an appeal to an anthropological vision informed by the Catholic tradition, in particular in its articulation of the virtue of solidarity, the developed theory reveals the importance of attentiveness to vulnerability in moral reasoning as well as demonstrates a way to ensure that what Levinas refers to as 'totalization' is avoided.


School of Theology

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


296 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Theology and Philosophy