Reading Heidegger Against Levinas

Abstract

A prevalent interpretation of Heidegger today is what I will call for the sake of convenience, the Levinasian reading. According to this perspective, Heidegger's Being as Ontological Difference grapples with the contradiction between the subjectivism of representationality and the absolute other to representation. But the concept of Being as Ontological difference risks risks being mistaken for a Kantian unconditioned ground of possibility. Derrida argues that the Levinas reading mistakes the ontic for the ontological. Being is not a concept, the ontological difference is not the difference between the subjective and the empirical, but difference WITHIN the subjective and the empirical.

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Joshua Soffer
University of Chicago

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