Levinas’ Otherness: An Ethical Dimension for Enactive Sociality

Topoi 41 (2):327-339 (2021)
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Abstract

What is or should be the place of the ethical dimension in a general enactive theory of sociality? How should such a dimension be understood and articulated within the more general picture of the enactive approach to social life? In this paper, building on Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophy, we argue that ethics should be understood as a distinct dimension of the complex and multidimensional phenomenon of sociality; a dimension of radical otherness that intertwines with but does not reduce to the intersubjective dynamics of social life. In showing the particular place that the ethical dimension occupies in the general picture of sociality, we show, following Levinas, why sociality is more than intersubjectivity and how enactivism, if interested in a comprehensive account of ethics, would benefit from this insight.

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Mario Villalobos
University of Edinburgh

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References found in this work

Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Totality and infinity: an essay on exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Hingham, MA: distribution for the U.S. and Canada, Kluwer Boston.
Linguistic Bodies: The Continuity Between Life and Language.Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Elena Clare Cuffari & Hanne De Jaegher - 2018 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. Edited by Elena Clare Cuffari & Hanne De Jaegher.

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