The Moral Self

Edith Wyschogrod

in Crossover Queries

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226061
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235148 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Moral Self

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Emmanuel Levinas is familiar with the theory of the moral self in neo-Kantianism, particularly in the work of Hermann Cohen, and with Martin Heidegger's criticism of its deficiencies. Nevertheless, this chapter argues that Levinas is in significant conversation with Cohen's thinking, that his own construing of the human person reflects a correction of Cohen's view in accordance with lessons learned from Heidegger's phenomenological approach, and that he puts forward a Cohen-like view in order to overcome the deficiencies of Heidegger's account. The chapter confines its remarks to what is pertinent in Cohen's thought to Levinas's account of the self. For this reason, it proposes to emphasize the last work of Cohen, for only after Cohen had completed his “existential turn” could his work enter into dialogue with what is germane to that of Levinas: Cohen's conception of the human person as a unique individual, an “I”.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; moral self; neo-Kantianism; Hermann Cohen; Martin Heidegger

Chapter.  7270 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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