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Download PDF by Lévinas, Emmanuel; Ĺevinas, Emmanuel; Appelbaum, David: A Propos, Levinas

By Lévinas, Emmanuel; Ĺevinas, Emmanuel; Appelbaum, David

Rejects Levinas’s argument for the preeminence of ethics in philosophy.

“Imagine listening at a keyhole to a talk with the duty of transcribing it, and the outcome could be a textual content just like the current one.” — from half I: Stagework

In a sequence of meditations responding to writings by way of Emmanuel Levinas, David Appelbaum means that a fallacious grammar warrants Levinas to communicate of language on the carrier of ethics. it's the nature of functionality that he blunders. Appelbaum articulates this flaw by way of acting in writing the act of the philosophical brain at paintings. Incorporating the voices of different thinkers—in specific Levinas’s contemporaries Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot—sometimes essentially, occasionally indistinctly, Appelbaum creates on those pages one of those soundstage upon which illustrations look of what he phrases “a rhetorical aesthetic,” which might reestablish rhetoric, ideas for giving voice—and no longer ethics—as the proper matrix for figuring out the otherness and beyond-being that Levinas seeks in his paintings

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Extra resources for A Propos, Levinas

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It is what remains after the Pyrrhic victory of philosophy, in the deformed and throttled speech—monkey gibberish—of the il y a. Part II: À Propos 33 What becomes of art as “essence in dissemination”? (OB, 41). Bruns’s argument that Levinas refuses the refusal of philosophy lumps art with ethics, as though both belonged to a canonical category of axi‑ ology. Ethics as first philosophy submits to an inevitable liaison with philosophy and its impressive equipment of Sinngebung, that is to say, “Thematization is then inevitable, so that signification itself show itself ” (OB, 151).

A further delusion of the genius is that freedom means security from encroach‑ ment of boundaries, a law unto the self. In fact, it is more like a ghost freedom, freedom to visit where it is wanted. The difficulty, were it to be investigated, would bring censorship and repressive technologies that reinforce the idea of an autonomous self. The birth of ideology. A catastrophic collapse in the economy: the condition in front of which the world and the “I think” quakes. Is it not death, a word Levi‑ nas reserves for the other’s death (death of the other or otherwise than death), a “void without purpose”?

True, language is used, made use of, and appropriated as property. The world is thereby brought to light, always already provided, by representations framed in propositions. Truth can be sought and goodness realized. Nonetheless, language remains in excess with respect to speakers’ intentionality. Hei‑ degger has the idea that language does not exhaust itself in meaning. Levinas picks up on it and reaffirms the anteriority of such a language, an arche‑language: “[T]he unsayable saying lends itself to the said, to the ancillary indiscretion of the abusive language that divulges or profanes the unsayable” (OB, 44).

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