Does Levinas justify or transcend liberalism? Levinas on human liberation

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (5):523-544 (2010)
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Can Levinas be of any use for a radical political project beyond the liberal horizon? By illustrating the irreconcilability of Levinas’ ethico-politics to liberal conception of the individual, its rational peace and economic arrangement, this article argues that there is a radical distance between Levinas’ thought and the western liberal tradition. Yet demonstrating this irreducibility by itself does not expose the underlying radical possibilities of Levinas’ ethics. This task is accomplished by providing a new reading of the ‘third’ in which this concept, instead of merely expressing the betrayal of ethics, points to two simultaneous orders of justice: formal and ethical. The ethical order of justice indicates that the formal justice exists so that the state fulfills its promise of furnishing the human condition with a face-to-face relation. The ethical order of justice simultaneously contains and transcends formal justice, exposing the structural inability of liberalism to offer a fundamental conception of human liberation



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Citations of this work

Fair Trade and the Fetishization of Levinasian Ethics.Juan Ignacio Staricco - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 138 (1):1-16.
Levinas, bureaucracy, and the ethics of school leadership.Andrew Pendola - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (14):1528-1540.
Prospects for A Levinasian Epistemic Infinitism.J. Aaron Simmons & Scott F. Aikin - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (3):437-460.

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