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)
White on White/Black on Black is a unique contribution to the philosophy of race. The text explores how 14 philosophers, 7 white and 7 black, philosophically understand the dynamics of the process of racialization.
These essays provoke new responses to the work of the eminent French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas through an analysis of how the problematics of reading, deconstruction, feminism, and psychotherapy complicate and deepen Levinas's account of ...
Heidegger already recognized in the 1920s the difficulties facing a phenomenology of religion, but the problems are greatly multiplied once one recognizes that many of the so-called religions were constituted as such only in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and that the "invention" of these religions was according to an idea of religion shaped by Christianity. By investigating the incompatible attempts of Kant and Hegel to negotiate that idea, I identify the genealogy of the double bind whereby today (...) it appears that one is faced with a choice between two violences: the violence of imposing the word religion on practices that do not readily follow the model of the Christian religion and the violence of refusing the word to non-Christian religions. (shrink)
This volume explores some of the more important of Hans-Georg Gadamer's extensive writings on art and literature. The principal text included is 'The Relevance of the Beautiful', Gadamer's most sustained treatment of philosophical aesthetics. The eleven other essays focus particularly on the challenge issued by modern painting and literature to our customary ideas of art, and in turn revitalize our understanding of it. Gadamer demonstrates the continuing importance of such concepts as imitation, truth, symbol, and play for our appreciation of (...) contemporary art, and thereby establishes its continuity with the Western tradition. The essays here are not technical and are readily accessible to the beginning student and the general reader. The collection as a whole serves to illustrate the practice of hermeneutics and to introduce Gadamer's thought. Robert Bernasconi provides an introduction clarifying the central aims of the essays and their relations to Gadamer's major work, Truth and Method, and to the philosophy of art since Kant. A bibliography of Gadamer's writings available in English is also included. (shrink)
This book brings together the most interesting and far-reaching responses to the work of Levinas in three key areas: contemporary feminism, psychotherapy and Levinas's relation to other philosophers. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Frantz Fanon was an enthusiastic reader of Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason and in this essay I focus on what can be gleaned from The Wretched of the Earth about how he read it. I argue that the reputation among Sartre's critics of the Critique as a failure on the grounds that it was left incomplete should take into account its presence in Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth . Their shared perspectives on the systemic character of racism and colonialism, (...) on the genesis and fragility of groups, and on parties indicates the vitality of the ideas set out in the Critique . However, these similarities between the two thinkers are offset by their differences on national consciousness and on the rural masses. I end by speculating about a certain defence on Sartre's part toward Fanon's concrete experience. (shrink)
In this paper I investigate a largely untold chapter in the history of race thinking in Northern Europe and North America: the transition from the form of racism that was used to justify a race-based system of slavery to the medicalising racism which called for segregation, apartheid, eugenics, and, eventually, sterilization and the holocaust. In constructing this history I will employ the notion of biopower introduced by Michel Foucault. Foucault’s account of biopower has received a great deal of attention recently, (...) but because what he actually has to say about race tends to be vague and radically incomplete, many race theorists have been critical of his contribution. However, even if the account of the holocaust in terms of biopower is incomplete, there is still a great deal to be learned from Foucault’s identification of this biologizing, or medicalising racism. (shrink)
In this paper I present Levinas' account of excendence in On Escape and Existence and Existents and show its continuity with his subsequent discussions of transcendence in Time and the Other, Totality and Infinity, and Otherwise than Being. I argue that Levinas' critique of the traditional idea of identity plays a decisive role in establishing the continuity between these various accounts as it provides the key to unlocking his account of transcendence as a formal structure. However, the meaning of trascendence (...) lies not in the structure but in its concretization. Although Levinas initially presents fecundity as the concretization of transcendence, he ultimately identifies it as ethics. This development explains why Levinas himself preferred to think of himself as a thinker of transcendence or the holy rather than to be identified with ethics. (shrink)
In 1934 Heidegger offered an account of what a Volk is in terms of the existential analytic of Dasein set out in Being and Time , but soon after he abandoned this framework as he began the task of overcoming metaphysics. Integral to this new task was a confrontation with the racial policies not just of the Nazis but also of the Allies because he believed that the Western philosophical tradition was deeply implicated in these policies. Against this background, this (...) paper explores Heidegger's attempts—hitherto unrecognized—in the late 1930s to sketch another way of thinking what his contemporaries called "race" using the conceptual resources he had introduced in "The Origin of the Work of Art." The paper also includes some criticisms of Emmanuel Faye's recent study, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy. (shrink)
This article addresses in the first place the use made by Emmanuel Levinas of the contrast between the Bible and Greece. The author attempts to place this contrast in the context of the historical division between Athens and Jerusalem, the Hellenic and the Hebraic, etc. It is argued that one of the main motivations for the presence of this contrast in Levinas s thought is his attempt to address Martin Heidegger's appeal to the relation between the Greeks and the Germans. (...) However, the article claims that it remains the case that Levinas never entirely succeeds in integrating an adequate account of ethnic identities into his ethics of alterity. /// O presente artigo tem por objectivo principal proceder a um estudo do uso feito por Emmanuel Levinas do contraste entre a Bíblia e a Grécia. Trata-se, pois, de uma tentativa de colocar este contraste no contexto da divisão histórica entre Atenas e Jerusalém, entre o mundo helénico e o mundo hebraico, etc. O autor argumenta que uma das principais motivações para a presença deste contraste no pensamento de Levinas é a sua tentativa de responder à associação estabelecida por Martin Heidegger entre a Grécia e a Alemanha. Por outro lado, contudo, o artigo também reclama que Levinas não foi completamente bem sucedido na sua tentativa de integrar de forma adequada as identidades étnicas na sua ética da alteridade. (shrink)
Emmanuel Levinas is now widely recognised alongside Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre as one of the most important Continental philosophers of the twentieth century. His abiding concern was the primacy of the ethical relation to the other person and his central thesis was that ethics is first philosophy. His work has also had a profound impact on a number of fields outside philosophy such as theology, Jewish studies, literature and cultural theory, psychotherapy, sociology, political theory, international relations theory and critical legal (...) theory. This volume, first published in 2002, contains overviews of Levinas's contribution in a number of fields, and includes detailed discussions of his early and late work, his relation to Judaism and talmudic commentary, and his contributions to aesthetics and the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This volume provides an introduction to the concept of race within philosophy. It gives an overview of the most important contributions by continental philosophers to the understanding or race as well as presenting a general review of recent philosophical discussions.
By helping to introduce the relatively new concept of institutional racism into Britain, Sir Michael and Ann Dummett expanded the concept of racism beyond the limited sense it had been given in the 1940s and 1950s when racism tended to be associated with the scientific concept of race and when the focus tended to fall on the intent to harm or speak harm of a group that was identified as a race by science. They recognised that ‘race’ was primarily a (...) political and not a scientific concept. This led them in a different direction from that taken by the next generation of mainstream philosophers working in this area, such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, who adopted the UNESCO approach of highlighting the scientific deficiencies of the concept of race. However, although they both succeeded in developing ways to break through the forms of self-deception that allow institutional racism to go unnoticed and at the same time offered instructive insights into the ways politicians hide behind the racism of others, I argue that they failed to see, as clearly as Sartre and Fanon did, that the conception of institutional racism necessitates a structural changes in society beyond anything they contemplated. (shrink)
Abstract The phenomenological approach to racialization needs to be supplemented by a hermeneutics that examines the history of the various categories in terms of which people see and have seen race. An investigation of this kind suggests that instead of the rigid essentialism that is normally associated with the history of racism, race predominantly operates as a border concept, that is to say, a dynamic fluid concept whose core lies not at the center but at its edges. I illustrate this (...) by an examination of the history of the distinctions between the races as it is revealed in legal, scientific, and philosophical sources. I focus especially on racial distinctions in the United States and on the way that the impact of miscegenation was negotiated leading to the so-called one-drop rule. (shrink)
Hegel called world history a court of judgement, a world court, and in his Lectures on the Philosophy of World History he took Africans before that court and found them to be barbaric, cannibalistic, preoccupied with fetishes, without history, and without any consciousness of freedom. -/- In this paper, after rehearsing some of the more familiar objections to Hegel's verdict against Africa, I turn the tables and put Hegel on trial. More specifically, given that much of Hegel's account is directed (...) against the Ashanti, I will use what is known about them and especially what Hegel either did know or should have known, to take him before the court of the Ashanti, where the use of evidence can be interrogated. The results of this examination render all the more pressing the need to give an account of how Hegel applied his system of justice to Africa, which I attempt to do in the second part of the paper. In the third part, I return to the interpretation of Hegel's statement about Africa as unhistorical and, having restored it to its context in Hegel's system, show its. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 214 - 236 In the winter semester 1934–35 Heidegger used the occasion of an introductory seminar on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right as the context for a sustained confrontation with the legal theorist Carl Schmitt. In this paper, I establish the context for Heidegger’s confrontation with Schmitt from 1933 to early 1935; I explain why Heidegger chose Hegel as the context for his discussion; and above all, I demonstrate how their various attempts to make (...) sense of the seizure of power by the Nazis was combined with a systematic neglect of the pervasive violence of the times. (shrink)