Vol. 1 No. 1 (2023)
Thematic Section

Hospitality and Ontology

Lóránt Kicsák
Eszterházy Károly Catholic University
Pázmány Papers vol. 1. nr. 1.

Published 12/18/2023 — Updated on 06/13/2024


  • unconditional and conditional hospitality,
  • Jacques Derrida,
  • ontological hospitality,
  • hospitable ontologie,
  • communicative coexistence,
  • cooperative community,
  • responsitivity,
  • ecological ethics


Open to the arrival of the other, ready to receive the other unconditionally, the responsibility is born as a response to the eventful arrival of the other. Hospitality, understood in this way, is thus an unconditional condition of possibility for meeting the other, even before any legal institution. In this sense, ethics is more original than law, and the hospitality relationship is more fundamental than any social, political, or legal relationship.

This primordiality also means that Derrida reinterprets hospitality as an ontological relation, which now becomes an openness to the arrival of the arrivant, and a readiness to encounter the other. In  coexistence, the absolute presence always poses a question to all beings and expects an answer from all beings. Still, in a certain sense, our ontological relation to all beings is also a responsive and responsible