Heidegger’s Ethics and Levinas’s Ontology: Phenomenology of Prereflective Normativity

PhD Gak, PhD
New School for Social Research
A certain type of metaphysical manicheism has become quite prevalent among Levinas readers who insist in declaring his ethics to be a morally and, ultimately, politically necessary departure from Heidegger’s ontology. This approach inadequately moralizes Levinas’ articulation of the ethical which, I argue here, ought to be understood as an account of the pre-reflective normative conditions of ontology as meaning. In this paper, I seek to show that Levinas account of Ethics is squarely rooted in the epistemology of Heidegger’s Being and Time and that, his phenomenological articulation of pre-deliberative normativity may be read as the Deduction and Schematism of Being and Time, that is, as its central mechanism.
Keywords Levinas  Normativity  Heidegger  Ontology  Ethics
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ISBN(s) 1554-7000
DOI 10.5840/levinas201499
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