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Ethics, Philosophy, and Religion
A prominent scholar of the life and work of Emmanuel Levinas, Richard A. Cohen collects in this volume the most significant of his writings on Levinas over the past decade. With these essays, Cohen not only clearly explains the nuances of Levinas’s project, but he attests to the importance of Levinas’s distinctive insights for philosophy and religion. Divided into two parts, the book’s part one considers Levinas’s philosophical project by bringing him into dialogue with Western thought, including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, even Shakespeare, as well as twentieth century thinkers such as Heidegger, Husserl, Sartre, and Buber among others. In part two, Cohen addresses Levinas’s contribution to religious thought, particularly regarding his commentary on and approach to Judaism, by using the interpretive lens of Levinas’s Talmudic writing, “A Religion for Adults.”
Throughout the book, these seminal essays provide a thorough illumination of Levinas’s most original insight and significant contribution to Husserlian phenomenology — which permeates both his philosophical and religious works — that signification and meaning are ultimately based on an ethically structured intersubjectivity that cannot be understood in terms of language and being. Cohen succeeds in defending and clarifying Levinas’s commitment to the primacy of ethics, his “ethics as first philosophy,” which was the hallmark of the French phenomenologist’s intellectual career.
Gift, Responsibility, Diachrony, Hope
Over the course of six decades, Emmanuel Levinas developed a radical understanding of time. Like Martin Heidegger, Levinas saw the everyday experience of synchronous time marked by clocks and calendars as an abstraction from the way time functions more fundamentally. Yet, in a definitive break from Heidegger’s analysis of temporality, by the end of his career Levinas’s philosophy of time becomes the linchpin for his argument that the other person has priority over the self. For Levinas, time is a feature of the self’s encounter with the face, and it is his understanding of time that makes possible his radical claim that ethics is first philosophy. Levinas’s Philosophy of Time takes a chronological approach to examine Levinas’s deliberations on time, noting along the way the ways in which his account is informed by aspects of Judaism and by other thinkers: Rosenzweig, Bergson, Husserl, Heidegger. The progression in Levinas’s account, Severson argues, moves through his viewing time as a gift or a responsibility in earlier works and culminates in the groundbreaking expressions of his later works in which he rests his resounding philosophy of radical responsibility on an understanding of time as diachrony. Further, by focusing on this progression in Levinas’s thought, Severson brings new insight to a number of aspects in Levinas studies that have consistently troubled readers, including the differences between his early and later writings, his controversial invocation of the feminine, and the blurry line between philosophy and religion in his work. Finally, drawing on Levinas’s own acknowledgment that significant work remained to be done on the concept of time, Severson considers the problems and benefits of Levinas’s understanding of time and ultimately suggests some possibilities for thinking about time after Levinas. In particular, he reconsiders Levinas’s account of the feminine and gender, identifies an implicit “fourth person” that functions behind the scenes of Levinas’s work, and highlights the concept of hope in both a future justice and the possibility of a restoration that is not egocentric but for-the-other.
Les enjeux parentaux, éthiques et légaux
Grâce à ses progrès constants, la médecine offre aujourd'hui la possibilité d'assurer la survie de plusieurs prématurés. Pouvons-nous décider de ne pas tout tenter pour sauver un nouveau-né? En droit, à qui revient cette décision? Du point de vue de l'éthique, comment délibérer pour parvenir à une décision aussi éclairée que possible? Comment l'équipe soignante doit-elle se comporter pour être bienfaisante à l'égard des parents? Des experts se sont penchés sur ces questions.
Reason and Feeling in a Deeper World
Now available in English for the first time, Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess's meditation on the art of living is an exhortation to preserve the environment and biodiversity. As Naess approaches his ninetieth year, he offers a bright and bold perspective on the power of feelings to move us away from ecological and cultural degradation toward sound, future-focused policy and action.
Naess acknowledges the powerlessness of the intellect without the heart, and, like Thoreau before him, he rejects the Cartesian notion of mind-body separation. He advocates instead for the integration of reason and emotion--a combination Naess believes will inspire us to make changes for the better. Playful and serious, this is a guidebook for finding our way on a planet wrecked by the harmful effects of consumption, population growth, commodification, technology, and globalization. It is sure to mobilize today's philosophers, environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public into seeking--with whole hearts rather than with superficial motives--more effective and timelier solutions.
Naess's style is reflective and anecdotal as he shares stories and details from his rich and long life. With characteristic goodwill, wit, and wisdom, he denounces our unsustainable actions while simultaneously demonstrating the unsurpassed wonder, beauty, and possibility our world offers, and ultimately shows us that there is always reason for hope, that everyone is a potential ally in our fight for the future.
Living with Indifference is about the dimension of life that is utterly neutral, without care, feeling, or personality. In this provocative work that is anything but indifferent, Charles E. Scott explores the ways people have spoken and thought about indifference. Exploring topics such as time, chance, beauty, imagination, violence, and virtue, Scott shows how affirming indifference can be beneficial, and how destructive consequences can occur when we deny it. Scott's preoccupation with indifference issues a demand for focused attention in connection with personal values, ethics, and beliefs. This elegantly argued book speaks to the positive value of diversity and a world that is open to human passion.
Inspiré de la tradition humaniste occidentale, cet essai propose des réflexions sur l’existence humaine et les conditions d’exercice du « métier » d’homme ou de femme. Il se présente à la fois comme une tentative d’exprimer ce qui renvoie la plupart du temps à l’inexprimable, et comme un effort de décrire cette expérience fondamentale et déterminante dans la vie d’un homme ou d’une femme, qu’est l’éthique. Il tente donc de montrer l’importance de l’éthique dans la vie quotidienne, autant dans l’expression des moments magiques, des bonheurs fragiles et des joies passagères qui la teintent d’une couleur particulière, que dans les inquiétudes, les angoisses, les échecs, les ruptures et les souffrances qui la marquent de leurs sceaux indélébiles
Philosophical Essays on Whiteness
Look, a White! returns the problem of whiteness to white people. Prompted by Eric Holder's charge, that as Americans, we are cowards when it comes to discussing the issue of race, noted philosopher George Yancy's essays map out a structure of whiteness.
He considers whiteness within the context of racial embodiment, film, pedagogy, colonialism, its "danger," and its position within the work of specific writers. Identifying the embedded and opaque ways white power and privilege operate, Yancy argues that the Black countergaze can function as a "gift" to whites in terms of seeing their own whiteness more effectively.
Throughout Look, a White! Yancy pays special attention to the impact of whiteness on individuals, as well as on how the structures of whiteness limit the capacity of social actors to completely untangle the way whiteness operates, thus preventing the erasure of racism in social life.
Josiah Royce and the Genuine Moral Life
As a virtue, loyalty has an ambiguous place in our thinking about moral judgments. We lauded the loyalty of firefighters who risked their lives to save others on 9/11 while condemning the loyalty of those who perpetrated the catastrophe. Responding to such uneasiness and confusion, Loyalty toLoyalty contributes to ongoing conversation about how we should respond to conflicts in loyalty in a pluralistic world. The lone philosopher to base an ethical theory on the virtue of loyalty is Josiah Royce. Loyalty to Loyalty engages Royce's moral theory, revealing how loyalty, rather than being just one virtue among others, is central to living a genuinely moral and meaningful life. Mathew A. Foust shows how the theory of loyalty Royce advances can be brought to bear on issues such as the partiality/impartiality debate in ethical theory, the role of loyalty in liberatory struggle, and the ethics of whistleblowing and disaster response.