Levinas and Analytic Philosophy: Second-Person Normativity and the Moral Life

New York: Routledge (2019)
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Abstract

This volume examines the relevance of Emmanuel Levinas's work to recent developments in analytic philosophy. Contemporary analytic philosophers working in metaethics, the philosophy of mind, and the metaphysic of personal identity have argued for views similar to those espoused by Levinas. Often disparately pursued, Levinas's account of "ethics as first philosophy" affords a way of connecting these respective enterprises and showing how moral normativity enters into the structure of rationality and personal identity. In metaethics, the volume shows how Levinas's moral phenomenology relates to recent work on the normativity of rationality and intentionality, and how it can illuminate a wide range of moral concepts including accountability, moral intuition, respect, conscience, attention, blame, indignity, shame, hatred, dependence, gratitude and guilt. The volume also tests Levinas's innovative claim that ethical relations provide a way of accounting for the irreducibility of personal identity to psychological identity. The essays here contribute to ongoing discussions about the metaphysical significance and sustainability of a naturalistic but nonreductive account of personhood. Finally, the volume connects Levinas's second-person standpoint with analogous developments in moral philosophy.

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