For Levinas, ethics must always be asymmetrical. This is because ethics is always about the other, and it becomes egotistical when I demand something like 'the golden rule' whereby I expect reciprocal treatment from the other. The question however is whether or not the asymmetry of ethics leaves questions of justice either at the wayside, or completely untreatable. For Levinas however, I do not think that justice and ethis are contradictory but need to be ethically ordered. It is the way he constructs the relationship between ethics and justice that gives him the tile of the 'JewGreek', drawing his ethics from Jewish philosophy and justice from the Greeks.

If Levinas left us with nothing but the asymmetrical ethics we would be left with nothing but servitude and a flimsy unrealistic ethics, whereby my dispondibility to the other would not take into account others, or multiple others. The other that disrupts the symmetrical human relations that we encounter in our everyday workings would leave us in a situation where justice would not be possible because the demand for the symmetry of justice would be committing violence to the other.

In order to resolve this issue Levinas introduces the 'third'. If the other disrupts the circuitry of the I/Self then the third disrupts the Self/Other relationship. It should be noted here that the third is not necessarily the concrete, numerical third, but the multiplicity. The third introduces conflicting demands on the 'I'. This significantly complicates the otherwise simplicity of the complete dispondibility to the other. Here it is not enough that I simply respond with the 'me voici!' for in doing so for multiple others I may be unable to enact either. We could imagine a case where two people are asking me to help them by performing activities that conflict with each other (for example taking sides). Here is where the Levinasean 'Greekness' gets re-introduced. Philosophy in the traditional sense, that works with rational calculations and symmetrical relationships comes back into play here. With the introduction of the third we are called to do this style of philosophy in order to be able to do justice. In order to sort out the conflicting demands and resolve these types of issues the question that come in the style of weights and balance, questions of evaluations, comparisons etc. must be appealed to. There is a re-introduction of symmetry at this point.

The ethical and the just are not in contradiction with each other, but the ethical always comes before justice. It is not until we think the third, until we are ethical disposed to multiple others whose demands conflict with each other that justice and symmetry have to be appealed to. But this always begins with the asymmetrical ethics of dispondibility to the other.

Although 'Greek' philosophy is re-introduced, I think that for Levinas it is not exactly the same as it was 'before'. Because the philosophy of rational calculations, weights, measures, balances, and the symmetry of the just is re-opened in the wake of conflicting ethical demands it must proceed with a disposition that is not quite the same. Because this style of philosophy is no longer brought back for the sake of the self that must find its place in the world, but for the sake of the self that must respond in its insubstitutibility and freedom. While the same type of philisophical moves might be made, I think in the end their trajectories are somewhat different, and that I don't think Levinas expects those calculations to carry the same weight or authority, precisely because these calculations cannot be expected to resolve any issues in advance of the emergence of the conflicting demands of the other. Neither can the needs or demands of the 'I' be brought into the calculations of social justice.