Overturning the ego and its political consequences

Emilie Van Daele42447

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


To maintain a dynamic political community, political institutions should be constantly checked by their citizens. Unfortunately citizens are raised in that very community and carry on its presuppositions. If we want to criticize a political community we cannot use existing categories that were created by it. But when we free ourselves of those presuppositions and stop reducing everything to the Same, which can be seen as a product of our community, we can make a start in checking our political institutions. Freeing oneself of said presuppositions, however, is a very problematical issue. Levinas has described this issue in various texts. I would like to examine this moment, where the ego and its foundations fall apart, through Levinas phenomenology and investigate the possibilities of using his analysis to urge people to develop a greater political consciousness instead of withdrawing themselves in a private sphere where the ego continues to reduce everything to the Same.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ethical and the Political: Levinas and Social-Political Theory
EditorsMichael R. Paradiso-michau, Sol J. Neely
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Bibliographical note

Michael R. Paradiso-Michau and Sol J. Neely


  • Levinas
  • The political
  • Presuppositions
  • Persuasion


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