The joy of Desire: Understanding Levinas’s Desire of the Other as gift

Continental Philosophy Review 51 (2):193-210 (2018)
Authors
Sarah Horton
Boston College
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that if we understand Levinas’s Desire of the Other as gift, we can understand it as joyful—that is, as celebratory. After presenting Levinas’s conception of Desire, I consider his claim, found in Otherwise than Being, that the self is a hostage to the Other, and I contend that, paradoxical as it may seem, being a hostage to the Other is actually liberating. Then, drawing on insights Richard Kearney offers in Reimagining the Sacred, I argue for understanding Desire as a gift that is the condition of possibility for joy. If I offer hospitality to the Other, I thereby accept the gift that makes joy possible, and this joy is not egoistic but is the proper response to the gift. Finally, I ask whether Desire can be joyful in practice, given that the pure gift is an originary condition and never a historical one, and I conclude that imperfect joy remains possible. Moreover, this imperfect joy is better than any solitary enjoyment I might experience in the total absence of the Other.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11007-017-9416-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence.Emmanuel Levinas & Alphonso Lingis - 1984 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 17 (4):245-246.
The Many Faces of Levinas as a Reader of Kierkegaard.Merold Westphal - 2008 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 64 (2/4):1141 - 1162.
The Disqualification of Intentionality.Jeffrey L. Kosky - 1997 - Philosophy Today 41 (9999):186-197.
Total Altruism” in Levinas’s “Ethics of The Welcome.M. Jamie Ferreira - 2001 - Journal of Religious Ethics 29 (3):443-470.
Judaism and Philosophy in Levinas.Adriaan T. Peperzak - 1996 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 40 (3):125 - 145.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Philosophy and Desire.Hugh J. Silverman (ed.) - 2000 - Routledge.
The Misfortune of the Happy.M. Jamie Ferreira - 2006 - Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (3):461-483.
Conflicts of Desire.Steven Arkonovich - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (1):51-63.
Drew Dalton, Longing for the Other: Levinas and Metaphysical Desire.Ayesha Abdullah - 2011 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 19 (1):171-176.
La Raison du Don.Jean-luc Marion - 2004 - Bijdragen 65 (1):5-37.
L’après coup du désir.Fabio Ciaramelli - 2006 - Studia Phaenomenologica 6:97-115.
L'après coup du désir.Fabio Ciaramelli - 2006 - Studia Phaenomenologica 6:97-115.
Are There Extrinsic Desires?David K. Chan - 2004 - Noûs 38 (2):326-50.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-03-21

Total downloads
22 ( #271,076 of 2,268,425 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #47,957 of 2,268,425 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature