Despite Oneself. Subjectivity and Its Secret in Kierkegaard and Levinas

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If one looks at the direct link between both writers - i.e. Levinas' own (dubious) ap-
praisal of the Dane -, placing them together appears to be a risky and
complicated business. Hence, it is not surprising that up until now rela-
tively few scholars have examined the relationship between both writers
and their philosophies. This academic silence is telling and may even be
revealing, since a confrontation between both philosophers relates two
spheres that are traditionally known to be located at the very opposite
ends of the philosophical spectre: existentialism on the one end, gener-
ally conceived as enlarging the concept of subjectivity from a tense rela-
tion with the outer world to even solipsism in its most extreme form, and -
at least in part - dialogical philosophy on the other end, owing its birth-
right to a reaction against the cruelties proper to all egological thinking,
of which existentialism and its influence was judged a sad climax.
At an introductory level an encounter between both authors does not
look very promising or fruitful. But in the broadranging discussion that
formed the basis for this volume, there nevertheless arose a theme that
encompasses a common feature in the philosophy of both thinkers. In both
authorships the concept of subjectivity is merged with a kind of enigma,
a blind spot that is at the same time constitutive and threatening for it.
This 'secret', that at the same time bears and undermines the subject, has
lent itself as a 'terminus a quo' for dialogues between two philosophies
that at first sight present themselves as natural antipodes.
Originele taal-2English
TitelPhilosophical Series Turnshare
RedacteurenJ. Heil
Aantal pagina's10
ISBN van geprinte versie978-1-84790-020-3
StatusPublished - 1 aug 2008

Bibliografische nota

J. Heil


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