All posts filed under: levinas

Ipseity and Illeity, or Thinking Ethics without the Other of the Other

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ethics / learning / levinas / other

In conversation three of Ethics and Infinity, Levinas recounts the philosophical and existential implications of the il y a, the ‘there is’ or what he calls the “phenomenon of impersonal being” (48). The “there is” is many things at the same time: it is a belief, a feeling, an experience and even an affect (the source of the Judaic affect proper to one of philosophy’s “turns” in the 20th century) on one side and an […]

Notes on Totality and Infinity

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being / blanchot / ethics / event / exteriority / future / gleam / Hegel / history / infinity / judgment / levinas / peace / Politics / totality / vision

Does objectivity, whose harshness and universal power is revealed in war, provide the unique and primordial form in which Being, when it is distinguished from image, dream and subjective abstraction, imposes itself on consciousness? Is the apprehension of an object equivalent to the very moment in which the bonds with truth are woven? Levinas I will not say that the disaster is absolute; on the contrary, it disorients the absolute. It comes and goes, errant […]

Counter-mythology

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being / event / face / gift / infinity / lacan / language / levinas / logic / machine / silence / turbulence / violence

Responsibility is what first enables one to catch sight of and conceive of value. Levinas, Otherwise Than Being 123 Beyond the question of being and non-being, language is not the event — but rather a process of assembling unformed and unspecified elements, an abstract machinics which imagines new forms for itself by correlating the various distinct orders of reality with a plane of consistency in which a unified vision becomes possible — in short uncovering […]

Hegel and Universality

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awareness / Hegel / justice / language / law / levinas / objectivity / ontology / Politics / reason / society / teaching / time / tyranny

[Photograph by Will Godfrey] In an essay Hoffmeister suggests was written in 1808 or 1809, Hegel — certainly not without some irony — identifies an important ethical connection between abstract thought and power: Who thinks abstractly? The uneducated, not the educated. Good society does not think abstractly because it is too easy, because it is too lowly (not referring to the external status) — not from an empty affectation of nobility that would place itself […]

Outside

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alterity / awareness / being / difference / inequality / inhumanity / language / levinas / love / metaphysics / Politics / reason / truth / tyranny / Uncategorized / violence

The relation between me and the other commences in the inequality of terms, transcendent to one another, where alterity does not determine the other in a formal sense… It is produced in multiple singularities and not in a being exterior to this number who would count the multiples. The inequality is in this impossibility of the exterior point of view, which alone could abolish it. The relationship that is established–the relationship of teaching, of mastery, […]

Difference, Primacy and Peace: Deleuze and Levinas

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courage / death / Deleuze / dialogue / filiality / identity / levinas / metaphysics / ontology / peace / Politics / state / technology / violence / war machine

Preface It is perhaps time to see in hypocrisy not only a base contingent defect of man, but the underlying rending of a world attached to both the philosophers and the prophets. Levinas, Totality and Infinity 24 I have no wish to soften the saying that to write lyric poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric; it expresses in negative form the impulse which inspires committed literature. The question asked by a character in Sartre’s play Morts […]

Metaphysics beyond Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious, Language and Reality after Heidegger and Deleuze

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anti-philosophy / badiou / deconstruction / Deleuze / difference / heidegger / lacan / levinas / mathematics / metaphysics / negation / poetry / psychoanalysis / unity / writing

Metaphysics beyond Psychoanalysis 0: Entryways “What does it matter how many lovers you have if none of them gives you the universe?” Lacan “Lacan never pursues purely philosophical objectives.” Badiou Questions, not meanings, are forgotten. May we therefore at last refrain from inquiring what psychoanalysis means, or asking what it is supposed to signify? And, since this alone is clearly insufficient, could it also be possible to take a cautious step “backwards,” simply in order […]

Levinas

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badiou / levinas / meaning / metaphysics / multiplicity / ontology

Levinas addresses a question (or criticism) very similar to Badiou’s in his essay God and Philosophy (published in 1975, the ideas put forth were already put forth in different forms in lectures given from 1973-4). In these writings we find Levinas considering the tenability of the inclusion of God within philosophical discourse. It would seem that as soon as we conceptualize God’s existence, we must also situate God amidst existence, somehow mysteriously within being’s movement. […]