Frontmatter

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Title Page

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Table of Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

I wish to thank the professors who helped to inspire, shape, and encourage my own enthusiasm for philosophy. The faculty members of California State University, Long Beach, and Boston College were uniformly helpful and supportive, especially Daniel Guerrie`re, Richard Cobb-Stevens, and Jacques Taminiaux. Richard Kearney has, in...

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1. The Question of Otherness

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pp. 1-10

We are told that our postmodern age is characterized by the breakdown of Grand (or ‘‘Master’’) Narratives, the overarching systems that allow us to make sense of the world as a unified whole, as a cosmos rather than a chaos. In his famous report on knowledge, Jean-Francois Lyotard asserts that ‘‘incredulity toward...

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2. Emmanuel Levinas

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pp. 11-51

These passages, both alluded to by Levinas in various places, underscore the impetus of his thought, which argues that ethical responsibility is more fundamental than ontology, inverting twenty-five hundred years of philosophy by showing that ‘‘man’s relation to the other is prior to his ontological relation to himself (egology) or to the...

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3. Gabriel Marcel

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pp. 52-91

Just as the previous chapter sketched an outline of Levinas’s thought, this chapter will summarize some of the significant elements in Marcel’s diverse and unsystematic work. The format will follow that of the previous chapter: a general summary, followed by a description of intersubjectivity and alterity, and a final focus on love...

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4. Transcendental Philosophy

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pp. 92-121

The preceding chapters should illustrate both that Marcel and Levinas philosophize in an exceedingly similar, though by no means identical, manner and that there are several significant details on which they are in diametric opposition. Building on these propaedeutic chapters, we must address these points of convergence and...

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5. Concrete Philosophy

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pp. 122-149

The previous chapter examined Levinas’s transcendental critique, assessed its applicability to Marcel’s work, and offered some hypothetical Marcelian responses. This critique argued for the transcendental priority of the infinite over being—that is, the priority of the Infinite as the condition for the possibility of truth, subjectivity...

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6. The Other and God

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pp. 150-195

The preceding chapters have portrayed Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel as two philosophers who share a similar vocation, although it is a vocation that manifests itself in dissimilar—even contradictory—ways in their respective philosophies. This shared vocation reveals itself in the emphasis, common to both...

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7. The Nature of Otherness

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pp. 196-270

The title of this work promises more than a confrontation between the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel, and the time has come to make good on that promise. The comparison of Levinas and Marcel has, to be sure, been interesting in terms of addressing the perplexing incompatibility of two philosophers who are...

Notes

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pp. 271-338

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 339-348

Index

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pp. 349-358

Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

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pp. 359-361