Robert Gibbs radically revises standard interpretations of the two key figures of modern Jewish philosophy--Franz Rosenzweig, author of the monumental Star of Redemption, and Emmanuel Levinas, a major voice in contemporary intellectual life, who has inspired such thinkers as Derrida, Lyotard, Irigaray, and Blanchot. Rosenzweig and Levinas thought in relation to different philosophical schools and wrote in disparate styles. Their personal relations to Judaism and Christianity were markedly dissimilar. To Gibbs, however, the two thinkers possess basic affinities with each other. (...) The book offers important insights into how philosophy is continually being altered by its encounter with other traditions. (shrink)
Ranging over philosophy, literary theory, social theory, and historiography, this is an ambitious and provocative work that holds profound lessons for how we think about ethics and how we seek to live responsibly.
The subject is under siege. In many disciplines the self that modem thought established and fortified has fallen to critique. But while many explore the implications for epistemology, for literary theory, for psychology, or for history and social thought, few writers have pondered the question in terms of ethics. After all, ethics must rest on a subject, a person who makes choices and decides for various reasons to commit acts in one’s own name. l suggest that ethics can survive the (...) fracturing, de-centering, deconstructing of the self? A selection of passages from Marcel and Levinas is offered, with commentary. (shrink)
Through explorations of Hermann Cohen's Ethics of Pure Will, an international set of scholars opens questions both about the text itself and about the relation of ethics and the Jewish tradition. Originally published as Volume 13 (2005) of The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy.