Emmanuel Levinas' re-formulation of subjectivity, responsibility and the good has radically influenced post-structuralist thought. Political and legal theory, however, have only marginally profited from his moral philosophy. Levinas' theme of one's infinite responsibility for the other has often been romanticized by some advocates of multiculturalism and natural justice.
In this volume, political theorists, philosophers and legal scholars critically engage with this idealization of Levinas’ ethics. The authors show that his crucial formulation of the idea of 'the other in me' does not offer a quick cure for today's nationalist, racist and religious divides. Nor does his notion of anarchic responsibility provide immediate relief for the agony of dealing with matters of life and death. The rebelliousness of Levinas' thought is rediscovered here and used to challenge preconceptions of social, legal and individual responsibility.
Table of Contents
Politics not Left to Itself: Recognition and Forgiveness in Levinas Philosophy. Levinas and Devotional Trauma. How Levinas Ethics is Compromised by his Lack of Reflection on his Politics and How it can be Salvaged. Transgressing Levinas. Levinas and the Limits of Political Theory. Hands that Give and Hands that Take: The Politics of the Other in Levinas. Levinas' Silence. Here I Am: Illuminating and Delimiting Responsibility. The Right to Die and an Ethics of Death. Politics and Transcendence
Marinos Diamantides is Senior Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck School of Law, UK.