By Brian Treanor
Some other is really different, yet no different is utterly other.This is the declare that features of Alterity defends. taking on the query of otherness that so fascinates modern continental philosophy, this booklet asks what it skill for anything or a person to be except the self. Levinas and people prompted by means of him indicate that the philosophical culture of the West has regularly favorite the self on the rate of the opposite. this kind of self-centered point of view by no means encounters the opposite qua different, even though. In reaction, postmodern concept insists at the absolute otherness of the opposite, epitomized by means of the deconstructive declare any other is absolutely other.But absolute otherness generates difficulties and aporias of its personal. This has led a few thinkers to reevaluate the thought of relative otherness in gentle 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 element of embarkation for coming to appreciate the 2 positions in this query. Levinas and Marcel have been contemporaries whose philosophies convey remarkably comparable trouble 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 money owed for the event of encountering the other.After an intensive overview and critique of otherness in Levinas's and Marcel's paintings, together with a dialogue of the connection of moral alterity to theological assumptions, features of Alterity lines the transmission and improvement of those conceptions of otherness. Levinas's model of otherness might be obvious within the paintings of Jacques Derrida and John D. Caputo, whereas Marcel's realizing of otherness impacts the paintings of Paul Ricoeur and Richard Kearney.Ultimately, points 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 this kind of characterization.
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Additional info for Aspects of Alterity: Levinas, Marcel, and the Contemporary Debate (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)
Critique can take place on the basis of limitation seen as the ‘‘failure’’ of a finite freedom—the inability of freedom to define itself and its world, as in Sartre. Critique is also possible on the basis of worthiness—a critique that calls into question the justification for the exercise of freedom rather than one that restricts or limits the exercise of freedom. Freedom then is inhibited, not as countered by a resistance, but as arbitrary, guilty, and timid; but in its guilt it rises to responsibility.
Thus, we can see that critique can take two basic forms: the critique of the self on the basis of one’s weakness or limitation, and critique on the basis of one’s unworthiness. 23 However, ‘‘[real] critique does not reduce the other to the same as does ontology, but calls into question the exercise of the same. ’’24 Real critique does not bring about consciousness of limita18 Aspects of Alterity ................. 16272$ $CH2 11-20-06 13:59:33 PS PAGE 18 tion or failure, rather consciousness of the arbitrariness of my freedom and consciousness of my guilt.
16272$ $CH2 11-20-06 13:59:40 PS 27 PAGE 27 However, how can an encounter with that which is absolutely other come about? How is absolute otherness revealed or manifested without losing its character as other? Levinas tells us that the exteriority that ‘‘corresponds’’ to desire is revealed in the face (visage) of the human other. —rather, the face is the ‘‘countenance’’ of the other, which I can encounter ‘‘face to face’’ without actually looking the other in the eye. It is the face of the other that presents me with something I am absolutely incapable of assimilating into the orbit of my ontological and economic existence: the other qua other.
Aspects of Alterity: Levinas, Marcel, and the Contemporary Debate (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy) by Brian Treanor