The Care of the Other and Substitution

Jean-Luc Marion

in The Exorbitant

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230150
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235711 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Care of the Other and Substitution

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This chapter explores Levinas's notion of substitution. This notion is astonishing, in fact, since it marks a redoubling of responsibility—in other words, “one degree of responsibility more, the responsibility for the responsibility of the other”—that involves me substituting myself for the other in what is most his own, his own responsibility: “the overemphasis of openness is responsibility for the other to the point of substitution.” This does not mean a simple hyperbole of responsibility, where I take upon myself, by sympathy or solidarity, the charge that belongs properly to the other. It means first of all “a responsibility with regard to men we do not even know,” but also and especially “responsibility for the persecutor”.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas; substitution; responsibility; other

Chapter.  4465 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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