Gabriel Riera

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226719
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235315 | DOI:

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This book examines the possibility of writing the other, explores whether an ethical writing that preserves the other as such is possible, and discusses what the implications are for an ethically inflected criticism. It focuses on the works of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Martin Heidegger and examines how the question of the other engages the very limits of philosophy, rationality, and power. The book's horizon is ethics in the Levinasian sense: the question of the other, which, on the hither side of language understood as a system of signs and of representation, must be welcomed by language and preserved in its alterity. Martin Heidegger's elucidation of a more essential understanding of Being entails a deconstruction of onto-theology, of the sign and the grammatical and logical determinations of language, all decisive starting points for Levinas and Blanchot. At stake for both Levinas and Blanchot is how to mark a nondiscursive excess within discourse without erasing or reducing it. How should one read and write the other in the same without reducing the other to the same? Critics in recent years have discussed an “ethical moment or turn” characterized by the other's irruption into the order of discourse. The other becomes a true crossroads of disciplines, since it affects several aspects of discourse: the constitution of the subject, the status of knowledge, the nature of representation, and what that representation represses. Yet there has been a tendency to graft the other onto paradigms whose main purpose is to reassess questions of identity, fundamentally in terms of representation; the other thus loses some of its most crucial features.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; Maurice Blanchot; Martin Heidegger; the other; philosophy; rationality; power; language; signs; representation

Book.  232 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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