The Affective Subject: Emmanuel Levinas and Michel Henry on the Role of Affect in the Constitution of Subjectivity

Sophia 56 (1):99-114 (2017)
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In this essay, I develop an affective account of subjectivity that draws on two important philosophers within the phenomenological tradition. Many claim that the philosophies of Emmanuel Levinas and Michel Henry are entirely opposed to one another. Levinas is typically thought of as a philosopher of transcendence, while Henry is typically thought of as a philosopher of immanence. By attending to the role that affect plays in the work of both thinkers, I demonstrate that traces of immanence can be located in Levinas, while traces of transcendence can be located in Henry. What this account shows is that the self, because it is affective, is unique and set apart from the world, but also porous and open to being affected by others.



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References found in this work

Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.Emmanuel Levinas - 1961 - Distribution for the U.S. And Canada, Kluwer Boston.
Being and Time.Ronald W. Hepburn - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (56):276.
Normativity and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger.Steven Crowell - 2013 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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