Subjectivity and orientation in Levinas and Kant

Continental Philosophy Review 32 (4):433-449 (1999)
Abstract
This essay presents an argument for reconceptualizing subjectivity as orientational rather than foundational in nature. My focus is on the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Immanuel Kant. I begin by summarizing Levinas''s theory of ethical subjectivity as a theory of the self where the internal and the external are in constant play. Then I turn to two works of Kant for resources to understand better the meaning of Levinas''s theory of the self. In "What is Orientation in Thinking?" Kant presents a model for orientation in thought that I make use of as a basic framework for a model of orientational subjectivity. Then I analyze two feelings described by Kant in the third Critique which I argue can be understood as orientational feelings within such a model of orientational subjectivity: the feeling of sensus communis and the feeling of vocation.
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