Article

Emmanuel Levinas

Richard A. Cohen

in The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology

ISBN: 9780198803157
Published online March 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191841903 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198803157.013.10
Emmanuel Levinas

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Emmanuel Levinas, twentieth-century French phenomenologist and ethical/political philosopher, critically reappraises the meaning, grounds, and significance of intelligibility in relation to the irreducible transcendence and alterity of the other person conceived as my moral responsibility for you, rather than in ontology, epistemology, or aesthetics. Based in original phenomenological studies of human sensibility as vulnerable and mortal, as both suffering and moral capacity to alleviate suffering, Levinas finds in ethics the ultimate guidance for achieving mental health and a new approach to psychopathology beyond such standards as integral coherence or conformity to conventions. Human dignity is attained or regained through the obligations of moral responsibility to and for the other person, and ultimately, based thereupon, in responsibility to and for all others by contributing to the attainment of social justice.

Keywords: Levinas; ethics; other; responsibility; justice; moral; obligations; vulnerability; transcendence; alterity

Article.  3880 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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