The question of the other in French phenomenology

Continental Philosophy Review 44 (2):165-178 (2011)
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I would like to show how with Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas, we have to do with three different ways of understanding the experience of the other. For Sartre it is a visual experience, the experience of being looked at by the other, so that the experience of the other is understood as a confrontation; for Merleau-Ponty, the experience of the other necessarily implies coexistence and what he calls intercorporeality, so that for him the other is never to be found in front, but instead beside me, in reciprocity with me; for Levinas, the experience of the other is the experience of a non-reciprocity, of an assymetrical relation, because the experience of the other is for him an ethical and not an ontological experience, and because this experience of the face of the other is the experience of a speaking and not in the first place corporeal presence. There are consequently three different ways of finding an access to the other : the look for Sartre, intercorporeality for Merleau-Ponty and the face for Levinas



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References found in this work

The Visible and the Invisible: Followed by Working Notes.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1968 - Evanston [Ill.]: Northwestern University Press. Edited by Claude Lefort.
Totality and infinity.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961/1969 - Pittsburgh,: Duquesne University Press.
Totality and infinity: an essay on exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Hingham, MA: distribution for the U.S. and Canada, Kluwer Boston.
Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology.Jean-Paul Sartre - 1956 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Sarah Richmond & Richard Moran.

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