Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Chad Engelland

Second Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Sanford

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Kugelmann


This project emerges at the intersection of Gabriel Marcel’s metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. I present a phenomenological inquiry of Marcel’s notion of the metaphysics of hospitality and how he believes it heals the broken world. To illustrate this notion of the broken world, I place Marcel in dialogue with the social philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre which is characterized by alienation and despair and show how antithetical it is to Marcel’s healing notion of hospitality. I also explore the concept of hospitality from a sociological and historical perspective and as it is considered in the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. The thesis explores the ontological framework of these two recent thinkers in order to show that their accounts of absolute alterity and unconditionality have problematic implications for their claims regarding hospitality. By presenting Marcel’s ontological framework and his belief that alterity is relative, I show how his metaphysics of hospitality offers an attitude of reverence for the human person. The Marcelian concepts of disponibilité, presence, participation, sacredness and human dignity enrich the understanding of a metaphysics of hospitality, which both respects the value of otherness and fosters genuine communion.

Included in

Metaphysics Commons