1st Edition

Levinas and Analytic Philosophy Second-Person Normativity and the Moral Life

Edited By Michael Fagenblat, Melis Erdur Copyright 2020
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the relevance of Emmanuel Levinas’s work to recent developments in analytic philosophy. Contemporary analytic philosophers working in metaethics, the philosophy of mind, and the metaphysic of personal identity have argued for views similar to those espoused by Levinas. Often disparately pursued, Levinas’s account of "ethics as first philosophy" affords a way of connecting these respective enterprises and showing how moral normativity enters into the structure of rationality and personal identity.

    In metaethics, the volume shows how Levinas’s moral phenomenology relates to recent work on the normativity of rationality and intentionality, and how it can illuminate a wide range of moral concepts including accountability, moral intuition, respect, conscience, attention, blame, indignity, shame, hatred, dependence, gratitude and guilt. The volume also tests Levinas’s innovative claim that ethical relations provide a way of accounting for the irreducibility of personal identity to psychological identity. The essays here contribute to ongoing discussions about the metaphysical significance and sustainability of a naturalistic but nonreductive account of personhood. Finally, the volume connects Levinas’s second-person standpoint with analogous developments in moral philosophy.

    Preface: Analyzing Levinas

    Michael Fagenblat

    Part I. Second-Person Normativity

    1. Second-Person Reasons: Darwall, Levinas, and the Phenomenology of Reason
    2. Steven G. Crowell

    3. The Second Source of Normativity and its Implications for Reflective Endorsement: Levinas and Korsgaard
    4. Michael Barber

    5. Grounding and Maintaining Answerability
    6. Michael Fagenblat

    7. Buber, Levinas, and the I-Thou relation
    8. Patricia Meindl, Felipe León, and Dan Zahavi

    9. Commanding, Giving, Vulnerable: What is the Normative Standing of the Other in Levinas?
    10. James H. P. Lewis and Robert A. Stern

      Part II. Ethical Metaphysics

    11. The Concept of Truth in Levinas’s Totality and Infinity
    12. Michael Roubach

    13. Levinas on the Second-Person Structure of Free Will
    14. Kevin Houser

    15. Personal Knowledge
    16. Sophie-Grace Chappell

      Part III. Ethics and moral philosophy

    17. Desire for the Good
    18. Fiona Ellis

    19. Levinas, Tomasello, Strawson, Wallace: Reflections on Sociality and Morality
    20. Michael Morgan

    21. Rethinking Vulnerability in a Levinasian Context
    22. Diane Perpich

    23. Between Virtue Theory and the Theory of Subjectivity: Noddings’s Care, Levinas’s Responsibility, and Slote’s Receptivity
    24. Guoping Zhao

    25. Levinasian "Ethics as a First Philosophy" in Analytic Philosophy
    26. Melis Erdur

    27. Against a Clear Conscience: A Levinasian Response to Williams’ Challenge

    Søren Overgaard


    Michael Fagenblat is Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Israel. He is the author of A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (2010), editor of Negative Theology as Jewish Modernity (2017), and other publications in phenomenology and the philosophy of religion.

    Melis Erdur received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from New York University in 2013. She has held several postdoctoral fellowships in Israel, and published articles in the area of moral philosophy, including "A Moral Argument Against Moral Realism", Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, 19 (3), 591-602, 2016, and "Moral Realism and the Incompletability of Morality", The Journal of Value Inquiry, 52 (2), 227-237, 2018.

    "An innovative collection of essays written by an impressive group of scholars that demonstrates the important contribution that Levinas's thought can make to discussions more commonly associated with the analytic philosophical tradition."Leslie MacAvoy, East Tennessee State University, USA

    "With the increasing need to build bridges among the different philosophical traditions and with the growing interest in Levinas’s work, this book will appeal to a significant number of scholars working in Levinas studies, moral philosophy, and philosophy of mind. Erdur and Fagenblat have assembled a first rate group of scholars whose essays will encourage discussions across intra-disciplinary boundaries."Claire Katz, Texas A&M University, USA