Levinasian reflections on somaticity and the ethical self

Abstract

In this article, I attempt to bring some conceptual clarity to several key terms and foundational claims that make up Levinas's body-based conception of ethics. Additionally, I explore ways that Levinas's arguments about the somatic basis of subjectivity and ethical relatedness receive support from recent empirical research. The paper proceeds in this way: First, I clarify Levinas's use of the terms “sensibility”, “subjectivity”, and “proximity” in Otherwise than Being: or Beyond Essence . Next, I argue for an interpretation of Levinas's thought that I suggest is buttressed by recent experimental work in both developmental psychology and neuroscience. I provide examples of research that I suggest opens up Levinas's phenomenological analysis in new and interesting ways. I also urge the importance of Levinas's phenomenological analysis in contextualizing the ethical significance of these empirical findings.

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2009-01-30

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Joel Krueger
University of Exeter

Citations of this work

Merleau-Ponty on Shared Emotions and the Joint Ownership Thesis.Joel Krueger - 2013 - Continental Philosophy Review 46 (4):509-531.
Direct Social Perception.Joel Krueger - forthcoming - In Albert Newen, Leon de Bruin & Gallagher Shaun (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of 4E Cognition.
Merleau-Ponty.Joel Krueger - 2020 - In Thomas Szanto & Hilge Landweer (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Emotions. Routledge. pp. 197-206.
Levinas's Philosophy of Perception.Matt E. M. Bower - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):383-414.

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