Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) is at the center of the renewed debate over the question of the ethical. In the context of the phenomenological tradition, Levinas defines ethics as an originary response to the face of the other. Between 1982 and 1992, Levinas gave numerous interviews, closing a distinguished sixty-year career. Of the twenty interviews collected in this volume, seventeen appear in English for the first time. In the interviews Levinas sets forth the central features of his ethical philosophy. He (...) underlies his dedication to the phenomenological search for the concrete and the nonformal signification of alterity. He also elaborates on issues that do not receive extensive treatment in his formal philosophical works, including the question of pre-philosophical experiences, the ethical signification of money, justice, and the State. The informality of the interviews prompt Levinas to address matters about which he is reticent in his published works. (shrink)
Edith Wyschogrod presents the first full-length study in English of the important contemporary French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. It is a revision of the author’s earlier study and includes discussions of his recent writings as well as current scholarship. Dr. Wyschogrod’s extensive discussion of Levinas's relation to Judaism, especially his use of literature from the Torah and other religious writings, will be of interest to religious scholars. The author compares Levinas’s thought with that of his contemporaries, most notably Jacques Derrida (...) and Husserl. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas is one of the most original philosophers in the twentieth century. In this book, continuing his thought on obligation, he investigates the possibility that the word God can be understood now, at the end of the twentieth century, in a meaningful way. The thirteen essays collected in this volume offer an introduction to the wide range of Levinas's thought, addresses philosophical questions concerning politics, language and religion and the philosophies of, amongst others, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Marx and Derrida. (...) The essays also touch on the Marxist concept of ideology, death, hermeneutics, the concept of evil, the philosophy of dialogue, the relation of language to the Other, and the acts of communication and mutual understanding. Nine of the essays appear in English for the first time. (shrink)
Reasoning research suggests that people use more stringent criteria when they evaluate others' arguments than when they produce arguments themselves. To demonstrate this “selective laziness,” we used a choice blindness manipulation. In two experiments, participants had to produce a series of arguments in response to reasoning problems, and they were then asked to evaluate other people's arguments about the same problems. Unknown to the participants, in one of the trials, they were presented with their own argument as if it was (...) someone else's. Among those participants who accepted the manipulation and thus thought they were evaluating someone else's argument, more than half rejected the arguments that were in fact their own. Moreover, participants were more likely to reject their own arguments for invalid than for valid answers. This demonstrates that people are more critical of other people's arguments than of their own, without being overly critical: They are better able to tell valid from invalid arguments when the arguments are someone else's rather than their own. (shrink)
Although some people argue Emmanuel Levinas is a Jewish thinker because he introduces in his philosophical work ideas which come from the Jewish tradition, I want to present him as a philosopher. A philosopher who tries to widen the philosophical horizon which is traditionally a Greek one but, at the same time, a philosopher who does not want to abandon it. In one of his main books Totality and Infinity, he describes western civilization as an hypocritical one because it (...) is attached both to the True and to the Good, but he adds:It is perhaps time to see in hypocrisy not only a base contingent defect of man, but the underlying rending of a world attached to both the philosophers and the prophets, When reading Levinas we may realize that such an ‘hypocrisy’ might well be a blessing from a philosophical point of view. One of Levinas's philosophical aims is to refer to the Greek language of philosophy—a language he asserts to be of universal significance—in order to elucidate ideas that come from the Hebrew world view, from the prophets and from the sages. He wants to give a new insight into Greek categories and concepts but he refuses to abnegate the philosophical requirements for accuracy. That is why when he refers to biblical verses or to Talmudic apologues, he does not want to prove anything. His philosophical writings are indeed philosophical because he does not yield to the temptation of substituting the authority of a certain verse or of a certain name to the philosophical requirement of argumentation. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas y Seyla Benhabib consideran que no es posible hablar de derechos humanos sin la presencia del otro. Para estos filósofos, los derechos humanos deben constituirse a partir del reconocimiento de los demás en sus particularidades culturales, sociales, religiosas y demás. Por eso, los derechos humanos no podrían implementarse siempre de la misma forma en todas las comunidades humanas. Teniendo en cuenta esto, en este artículo se analizan los argumentos que dan Emmanuel Levinas y Seyla Benhabib sobre (...) la importancia que tiene el reconocimiento del otro en su diversidad para la construcción y la implementación los derechos humanos. Se hace énfasis en que ni el filósofo lituano ni la filósofa turca aceptan el universalismo jurídico de los derechos humanos, pues ven en ello un atentado contra la diversidad de los otros y contra la diversidad de las comunidades humanas. (shrink)
Over the last decade, businesses, policymakers, and researchers alike have advocated the need for value creation through inter-organizational collaboration. Researchers have widely argued that organizations that are engaged in collaborative processes create value. Because researchers have tended to focus on the identification of organizational motivations and on key success factors for collaboration, however, both the nature and processes of value creation in inter-organizational collaboration have yet to be examined. A recent theory by Austin and Seitanidi :726–758, 2012a; Nonprofit Volunt Sect (...) Q 41:929–968, 2012b) has proposed an analytical framework for analyzing value creation in inter-organizational collaboration, based on four types of value. The purpose of this current study is to empirically test this framework, and to provide key pointers for analyzing the nature of value, particularly in relation to learning. Our detailed empirical research is based on a 6-year retrospective case study of an inter-organizational partnership within an international development project for local economic development in Guatemala. The study’s contributions are twofold. First, it provides evidence of the critical path of the creation of diverse types of values in a collaborative process; second, it links the different types of value creation with the types of learning that occur in an inter-organizational process. (shrink)
This paper defends stage theory against the argument from diachronic counting. It argues that stage theorists can appeal to quantifier domain restriction in order to accommodate intuitions about diachronic counting sentences. Two approaches involving domain restriction are discussed. According to the first, domains of counting are usually restricted to stages at the time of utterance. This approach explains intuitions in many cases, but is theoretically costly and delivers wrong counts if diachronic counting is combined with fission or fusion. On the (...) second approach, domains of counting are usually restricted in an indeterminate way, so as to include at most one member of any maximal class of counterpart-interrelated stages (with respect to a certain utterance). This view can accommodate all the relevant intuitions about counting sentences, and it fits well with a new stage-theoretic view of reference that allows speakers to refer to both present and past stages. (shrink)
This paper begins by defending the twofold relevance, political and theoretical, of the notion of social suffering. Social suffering is a notion politics cannot do without today, as it seems indispensable to describe all the aspects of contemporary injustice. As such, it has been taken up in a number of significant research programmes in different social sciences (sociology, anthropology, social psychology). The notion however poses significant conceptual problems as it challenges disciplinary boundaries traditionally set up to demarcate individual and social (...) phenomena. I argue that philosophy has a role to play in the attempt to integrate the diverging perspectives stemming from the social sciences. I attempt to show that, as it engages with the social sciences to account for the conceptual and normative issues thrown open by the question of social suffering, philosophy in fact retrieves the very idea of critical theory, as a conjugated critique of social reality and of its knowledge. I conclude by showing how the question of social suffering then becomes a useful criterion to distinguish between the different existing approaches in critical theory. (shrink)
Reality and its shadow -- Freedom and command -- The ego and the totality -- Philosophy and the idea of infinity -- Phenomenon and enigma -- Meaning and sense -- Language and proximity -- Humanism and an-archy -- No identity -- God and philosophy -- Transcendence and evil.
Classical (Bayesian) probability (CP) theory has led to an influential research tradition for modeling cognitive processes. Cognitive scientists have been trained to work with CP principles for so long that it is hard even to imagine alternative ways to formalize probabilities. However, in physics, quantum probability (QP) theory has been the dominant probabilistic approach for nearly 100 years. Could QP theory provide us with any advantages in cognitive modeling as well? Note first that both CP and QP theory share the (...) fundamental assumption that it is possible to model cognition on the basis of formal, probabilistic principles. But why consider a QP approach? The answers are that (1) there are many well-established empirical findings (e.g., from the influential Tversky, Kahneman research tradition) that are hard to reconcile with CP principles; and (2) these same findings have natural and straightforward explanations with quantum principles. In QP theory, probabilistic assessment is often strongly context- and order-dependent, individual states can be superposition states (that are impossible to associate with specific values), and composite systems can be entangled (they cannot be decomposed into their subsystems). All these characteristics appear perplexing from a classical perspective. However, our thesis is that they provide a more accurate and powerful account of certain cognitive processes. We first introduce QP theory and illustrate its application with psychological examples. We then review empirical findings that motivate the use of quantum theory in cognitive theory, but also discuss ways in which QP and CP theories converge. Finally, we consider the implications of a QP theory approach to cognition for human rationality. (shrink)
In this article, I re-evaluate critiques of Levinas's Eurocentrism by exploring his openness to decolonial theory. First, I survey Levinas's conceptual confrontation with imperialism, showing that his early Eurocentric work is revised in his later writing. Second, I explore the contextual reasons that led him to take that path, such as his previously overlooked conversations with the liberationist South American intellectual Enrique Dussel. Finally, I present the case for a revisitation of the current theoretical frameworks of Jewish thought. I explain (...) how Levinas's encounter with Third World discourses helps to add a needed decolonial layer to contemporary Jewish intercultural conversations. (shrink)
Though Kierkegaard never explicitly formulated a theory of religious doctrine, he did have a clear position on the role that Christian doctrine ought to play in the lives of believers. Briefly stated, he maintained that Christianity, as a human activity, involves more than merely believing certain propositions about matters of fact. The doctrines of Christianity take on a true religious significance only when they are given the power to transform the lives of those who accept them; only when they are (...) given expression in the existence of the believer. This was, however, far from evident to Kierkegaard's theological contemporaries who, in the collective absentmindedness of the age, sought to replace the Christian virtue of faith with the philosophical ideal of objective knowledge. (shrink)
Die Nähe des Anderen, auf die wir uns verlassen, wenn wir "Du" sagen, ist das von Levinas entdeckte, von der Philosophie stets übergangene Thema, das eigentlich und dringend zu Erfragende, zu Begreifende. Denn der Andere ist uns nicht Gegenstand , sondern fremd. Gerade darin liegt die Chance, oder das Rätsel, dessen Lösung möglich sein muß und Hoffnung geben kann; denn die Emanzipation des Subjekts zum Stifter der Einheit von Ich und Welt wurde erkauft um den Preis, daß das Subjekt "frei" (...) wurde, indem es sich als – passive – Einheit, als Resultat der in den intentionalen Akten waltenden transzendentalen Apperzeption begriff.Levinas weist darauf hin, daß dieser Weg der Emanzipation ein Irrweg ist, der das Ich zerstört und das Böse gebiert. (shrink)
This paper contrasts the Hegelianism of contemporary neo-pragmatism and the Hegelianism of classical pragmatism as it has been reassessed in contemporary Deweyan scholarship. Drawing on Dewey’s interpretation of Hegel, this paper argues that Hegel’s theory of the spirit is in many aspects more akin to Dewey’s pragmatism than Brandom’s. The first part compares Dewey’s pragmatism with Hegel’s conceptions of experience and the theory/practice relation. The second part compares Dewey’s naturalism with Hegel’s theory of the relation between nature and spirit.
This is the first English-language translation of an important book that contributes to contemporary debates about social suffering in sociology, social psychology, political theory and philosophy. Renault provides a systematic account of the ways in which social suffering could be conceptualised.
Some theories assume that sentences like (i) with a presupposition trigger in the scope of a quantifier carry an existential presupposition, as in (ii); others assume that they carry a universal presupposition, as in (iii). No student knows that he is lucky. Existential presupposition: At least one student is lucky.Universal presupposition: Every student is lucky. This work is an experimental investigation of this issue in French. Native speakers were recruited to evaluate the robustness of the inference from (i) to (iii). (...) The main result is that presuppositions triggered from the scope of the quantifier aucun‘no’ are in fact universal. But the present results also suggest that the presuppositions triggered from the scope of other quantifiers depend on the quantifier. This calls for important changes in the main theories of presupposition projection. (shrink)
The philosophy of Hitler is simplistic [primaire]. But the primitive powers that burn within it burst open its wretched phraseology under the pressure of an elementary force. They awaken the secret nostalgia within the German soul. Hitlerism is more than a contagion or a madness; it is an awakening of elementary feelings.But from this point on, this frighteningly dangerous phenomenon becomes philosophically interesting. For these elementary feelings harbor a philosophy. They express a soul's principal attitude towards the whole of reality (...) and its own destiny. They predetermine or prefigure the meaning of the adventure that the soul will face in the world.The philosophy of Hitlerism therefore goes beyond the philosophy of Hitlerians. It questions the very principles of a civilization. The conflict is played out not only between liberalism and Hitlerism. Christianity itself is threatened in spite of the careful attentions or Concordats that the Christian churches took advantage of when Hitler's regime came to power.But it is not enough to follow certain journalists in distinguishing between Christian universalism and racist particularism: a logical contradiction cannot judge a concrete event. The meaning of a logical contradiction that opposes two forms of ideas only shows up fully if we go back to their source, to intuition, to the original decision that makes them possible. It is in this spirit that we are going to set forth the following reflections. Emmanuel Levinas has been professor of philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure Israelite de Paris and at the University of Paris I . Among his books that have been translated into English are Totality and Infinity, Ethics and Infinity, Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence, and The Levinas Reader. His essay "As If Consenting to Horror" appeared in the Winter 1989 issue of Critical Inquiry. Sean Hand is lecturer in French at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He is the editor of The Levinas Reader and the translator of Levinas's Difficult Freedom . He is currently completing a book on Michel Leiris. (shrink)
For a long time, Gilbert Simondon’s work was known only as either a philosophy restricted to the problem of technology or as an inspirational source for Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of difference. As Simondon’s thinking is now finally in the process of being recognized in its own right as one of the most original philosophies of the twentieth century, this also entails that some critical work needs to be done to disentangle it from an all too hasty identification with Deleuzian categories. (...) While both Simondon and Deleuze have made crucial contributions towards a theory of differential individuation that significantly diverges from other authors associated with French poststructuralism insofar as they insist on the dynamic and vital dimension of difference, they also differ on crucial points. Whereas Simondon sees the process of becoming as transductive amplification, Deleuze theorizes it as intensifying involution, leading to two notably distinct concepts of difference. (shrink)
One of the most influential philosophers of our day has selected 16 previously uncollected pieces that are unified by Levinas's project of revising the phenomenological description of the world in light of our experience of other persons.
Emmanuel Levinas has exerted a profound influence on 20th-century continental philosophy. This anthology, including Levinas's key philosophical texts over a period of more than forty years, provides an ideal introduction to his thought and offers insights into his most innovative ideas. Five of the ten essays presented here appear in English for the first time. An introduction by Adriaan Peperzak outlines Levinas's philosophical development and the basic themes of his writings. Each essay is accompanied by a brief introduction and (...) notes. This collection is an ideal text for students of philosophy concerned with understanding and assessing the work of this major philosopher. (shrink)