Continental Philosophy Review 54 (3):349-366 (2021)

The fruit borne of the debate concerning the economy of the gift carried out between Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion in the 1990s continues to ripen into the present with publications like Anthony Steinbock’s lucid It’s not about the Gift: From Givenness to Loving. I challenge and qualify the fundamental argument of this book in dialogue with two principal French proponents of givenness, Michel Henry and Jean-Luc Marion, against whom Steinbock promotes his strategy of the gift. While Steinbock wishes to displace our relation to the other from giving to loving, I suggest that the discourse of givenness remains the very movement of loving as such. Steinbock occupies a position reminiscent of, but not reducible to, gift-exchange theory, rooted in reciprocity between lover and beloved, whereas I am inclined to move near to the terrain of the unconditioned gift in which loving need not entail reciprocity. My position is not so much a counterclaim as it is a clarification of the inextricable unity between giving and loving. The final section contends that the I enlarge my horizon when I give myself because I do not grasp the other, nor do I expect or obligate the other’s givenness in return; rather in my growth beyond my own self-interest, I allow the other to be given just as the other likes to be given.
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DOI 10.1007/s11007-021-09527-y
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Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence.Emmanuel Levinas & Alphonso Lingis - 1981 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 17 (4):245-246.

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