By Simon Critchley, Alexis Dianda
Levinas's proposal of ethics as a relation of accountability to the opposite individual has develop into a hugely influential and recognizable place throughout a variety of educational and non-academic fields. Simon Critchley's target during this booklet is to supply a much less regularly occurring, extra troubling, and (hopefully) more true account of Levinas's paintings. a brand new dramatic process for studying Levinas is proposed, the place the elemental challenge of his paintings is obvious because the try to break out from the tragedy of Heidegger's philosophy and how within which that philosophy formed political occasions within the final century. large and cautious awareness is paid to Levinas' attention-grabbing yet usually ignored paintings from the Nineteen Thirties, the place the proximity to Heidegger turns into clearer. Levinas's challenge is especially uncomplicated: the way to get away from the tragic fatality of being as defined by means of Heidegger. Levinas's later paintings is a chain of makes an attempt to reply to that challenge via claims approximately moral selfhood and a sequence of phenomenological stories, in particular erotic kinfolk and the relation to the kid. those claims are analyzed within the e-book via shut textual readings. Critchley finds the matter with Levinas's solution to his personal philosophical query and indicates a few criticisms, specific about the query of gender. within the ultimate, speculative a part of the publication, one other resolution to Levinas's challenge is explored via a studying of the Song of Songs and the lens of mystical love.
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Extra info for The Problem with Levinas
He’s released from detention. That’s maybe what Levinas means by “the literary world”—but it’s kind of a put-down too, a slight. It’s haughtiness. The ambiguity of contemporary ontology is that what looks like comedy becomes tragedy. That’s the thought. Levinas entirely accepts the Heideggerian critique of intellectualism. His thinking moves on the terrain of fundamental ontology. He then tries to move upon that terrain but in a different direction from Heidegger. You know how many times Levinas spoke about Heidegger in public in his lifetime?
Levinas begins by asserting that the great novelty of Heidegger’s ontology is in its thinking of facticity, the distinction between empirical facts available to a theoretical consciousness or a knowing subject, and the life of Dasein, a human being inseparable from our enrootedness, our being riveted in the factical life of the world. The key discovery of Heidegger and his decisive advance beyond Husserl, which is why we cannot go back to a pre-Heideggerian philosophy, lies in his critique of intellectualism or theoreticism.
3 I disagree with that. I think the analysis of Hitlerism is essential to Levinas’ project and must be taken really seriously. National Socialism cannot be thought in terms of the opposition between racist particularism and liberal universalism. One way of thinking about National Socialism is that it is racism and particularism: it is national, it is for Germans, and it is not for human beings generally. We can oppose that with a universalism where we’re cosmopolitans in some psychotic universe.
The Problem with Levinas by Simon Critchley, Alexis Dianda