Journal Article

Response to Ochs

Robert A. Segal

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 74, issue 2, pages 495-498
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online April 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI:
Response to Ochs

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If Peter Ochs’ objections to what Levinas calls “the logic of the same” are to categorizations (binarism) or generalizations (over-generalizations) that do not fit the cases to which they are applied, then he is arguing against a straw man. If, alternatively, he is objecting to binarism or to generalization even when either does fit the cases to which it is applied, he needs to explain why. The quest for unifying principles is laudable, not lamentable. The way to detect categorizations and generalizations that do not fit is by trying to make them fit. Not soul searching but testing is the proper means. And testing is continually conducted by theorists and followers themselves, if also by rivals. One need not depend on critics of binarism or generalizations for tough-mindedness.

Journal Article.  1281 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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