Aspects of Alterity: Levinas, Marcel, and the Contemporary by Brian Treanor

By Brian Treanor

Another is really different, yet no different is entirely other.This is the declare that facets of Alterity defends. taking on the query of otherness that so fascinates modern continental philosophy, this ebook asks what it capability for whatever or a person to be except the self. Levinas and people stimulated through him indicate that the philosophical culture of the West has mostly preferred the self on the fee of the opposite. one of these self-centered point of view by no means encounters the opposite qua different, even if. In reaction, postmodern notion insists at the absolute otherness of the opposite, epitomized via the deconstructive declare any other is thoroughly other.But absolute otherness generates difficulties and aporias of its personal. This has led a few thinkers to reevaluate the inspiration of relative otherness in mild of the postmodern critique, arguing for a chiastic account that does justice to either the alterity and the similitude of the opposite. those latter positions-absolute otherness and a rehabilitated account of relative otherness-are the most contenders within the modern debate.The philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel give you the aspect of embarkation for coming to appreciate the 2 positions in this query. Levinas and Marcel have been contemporaries whose philosophies convey remarkably comparable problem for the opposite yet however stay essentially incompatible. therefore, those thinkers supply a awesome representation of either the proximity of and the unbridgeable hole among debts of otherness.Aspects of Alterity delves into this debate, first so as comprehend the problems at stake in those positions and moment to figure out which description greater debts for the event of encountering the other.After a radical evaluation and critique of otherness in Levinas's and Marcel's paintings, together with a dialogue of the connection of moral alterity to theological assumptions, points of Alterity lines the transmission and improvement of those conceptions of otherness. Levinas's model of otherness could be visible within the paintings of Jacques Derrida and John D. Caputo, whereas Marcel's knowing of otherness impacts the paintings of Paul Ricoeur and Richard Kearney.Ultimately, elements of Alterity makes a case for a hermeneutic account of otherness. Otherness itself isn't really absolute, yet is a chiasm of alterity and similitude. effectively articulated, such an account is able to addressing the valid moral and epistemological issues that lead thinkers to construe otherness in absolute phrases, yet with no absolutely the aporiasthat accompany the sort of characterization.

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Extra info for Aspects of Alterity: Levinas, Marcel, and the Contemporary Debate (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)

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But this critical encounter remains only provisional in ontology, because ontology then proceeds to absorb the other in comprehension. If the encounter with the other is always followed by a return to self that reduces the other to the same, then the other remains at best only relatively other, for the other is ultimately absorbed in a movement that promotes and insures the freedom of the same. 25 Of course real critique generally involves seeing ourselves from another perspective. There is nothing truly critical in self-critique— only the other qua other is capable of real critique.

Levinas claims that ontology from Aristotle on is a kind of theoria—an observation or contemplation with the goal of insight into the given object. ’’ The first of these steps has become so well known in the wake of the Heideggerian project that it has become something of a phenomenological maxim. ’’19 Such an injunction seems proper enough, and Levinas has no quarrel with the notion that the other reveals itself to the same. However, ontology does not stop here. Theoria demands insight into the thing in question and takes a second step that leads the other back to the same in the act of com-prehension.

16272$ $CH2 11-20-06 13:59:42 PS PAGE 32 of being unjustified and in the sense of creating a climate of injustice for the other. In so doing, the ethical resistance of the other leads me to question the worthiness of my being and calls for my justification. Does not the operation of my freedom, in the process of securing nourishment in jouissance, take bread from the mouth of the other? Does not my place in the sun cast a shadow on the other? The critique of one’s worthiness is not a limitation, but a call to justification.

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