In order for the value structure of a given culture to be established, a number of its constituents have to be pushed beyond
its boundary by shaping an abhorring figure of its Other. The exteriorization of such a figure is a necessary operation of
any identity formation. According to Foucault, this entails a steady re-introduction of the delimited exterior into each interior
instance of established identity. Not one of the identified instances remains ultimately spared of the rift caused by the
necessity of founding elimination, although each of them tries to relegate it into oblivion. Foucault′s ethics resists such
oblivion insisting upon the non-relation to alterity as the condition of possibility of relation to other human beings. The
paper follows the further development of this ethics in the work of Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy and Giorgio Agamben.
All of them highlight the constitutive priority of distance over proximity advocating therefore an eternal deferral of all
established identities. In the conclusion an attempt is made to trace the genealogy of this ethical stance.