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Levinas and Impossible Possibility: Thinking Ethics with Rosenzweig and Heidegger in the Wake of the Shoah

Levinas and Impossible Possibility: Thinking Ethics with Rosenzweig and Heidegger in the Wake of... 91 Levinas and Impossible Possibility: Thinking Ethics with Rosenzweig and Heidegger in the Wake of the Shoah TINA CHANTER University of Memphis "Here I am," despite Emmanuel Levinas. Despite his complete lack of interest in soliciting acolytes who would follow him, believing that a normative ethics can be elicited from his position; despite his disre- gard for women as ethical subjects; despite the impossibility of substi- tuting, or speaking for anyone; despite his death. The force of this word "despite" does not lie in its being contrary to Levinas' wishes. What, then, grants the meaning of the fact that I am here, despite everything? Despite the fact that I cannot merely be a respondent to Levinas-who has put into question the simplicity of what it would mean to respond; despite the fact that I am not a man; despite the fact that I am not Jewish-still here I am. How can this be thought? Let me forgo all the usual platitudes about the power of this man's thinking, his prescience, the command of his presence-even in, or perhaps, precisely because of-his absence. None of these acknowl- edgments are adequate to Levinas' philosophy, which has put into question the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

Levinas and Impossible Possibility: Thinking Ethics with Rosenzweig and Heidegger in the Wake of the Shoah

Research in Phenomenology , Volume 28 (1): 91 – Jan 1, 1998

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1998 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
DOI
10.1163/156916498X00065
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

91 Levinas and Impossible Possibility: Thinking Ethics with Rosenzweig and Heidegger in the Wake of the Shoah TINA CHANTER University of Memphis "Here I am," despite Emmanuel Levinas. Despite his complete lack of interest in soliciting acolytes who would follow him, believing that a normative ethics can be elicited from his position; despite his disre- gard for women as ethical subjects; despite the impossibility of substi- tuting, or speaking for anyone; despite his death. The force of this word "despite" does not lie in its being contrary to Levinas' wishes. What, then, grants the meaning of the fact that I am here, despite everything? Despite the fact that I cannot merely be a respondent to Levinas-who has put into question the simplicity of what it would mean to respond; despite the fact that I am not a man; despite the fact that I am not Jewish-still here I am. How can this be thought? Let me forgo all the usual platitudes about the power of this man's thinking, his prescience, the command of his presence-even in, or perhaps, precisely because of-his absence. None of these acknowl- edgments are adequate to Levinas' philosophy, which has put into question the

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1998

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