Discerning the Greater Common Good and Mutual Reciprocity

  • Etienne Rassendren St Joseph’s College, Bengaluru
Keywords: Ethics, Good, Morality, Reciprocity, Species-centricity


This article explores the question of ethics in times of pestilence as during Covid-19, via the ideas of Simon Blackburn, Jean Paul Sartre, and Henry Louis Gates Jr; it employs the representational notions of Gayatri Spivak and Stuart Hall as ways of seeing, so as to map and evaluate Biblical-Hebrew Exodus stories in relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic. This exploration also attempts to respond principally to the questions: what then is the place of the greater common good as ethic in the current experience? And what kind of ethics could be delivered in such a context? The article simultaneously argues that there is a close similarity between the Egyptian plague experience and the current pestilence, and that social action based on the ethics of common good and bio-centric mutual reciprocity are adequate responses for restoring current society to its ethical orientation and practice. In its conclusion, the article points to ideas that make transparent the article’s significance.

Author Biography

Etienne Rassendren, St Joseph’s College, Bengaluru

Dr Etienne Rassendren teaches English at St Joseph’s College, Bengaluru. His current academic interests are South Asian Studies, Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.


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How to Cite
Rassendren, E. (2020). ETHICS AND PESTILENCE . Journal of Dharma, 45(2), 279-298. Retrieved from