The Criticism Of Levinas And Derrida's Philosophy Of Love
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Levinas’ remarkable criticism of the West Universalist philosophical tradition questions the dominant and self-sufficient status of the self, this arrogant self which pretends to possess the monopole over Truth and Freedom. “Drunk with being in himself and for himself in the presence – or the modernity – […], man is capable of sobering up and of dis-interestedness and extreme vigilance vis-à-vis his absolutely other fellow man.” But Levinas’ thought does not remain a negation in the bossom of criticism. He suggests another path: a philosophy which is aware that the interpersonal relations start from the inter-subjectivity, but “the direction is not oriented to the whole as a final goal, rather than the Other in his alterity. (Translation mine)” This turn in philosophical thinking is what Derrida calls “the death of philosophy”. Derrida refers in “Violence and Metaphysics” that “Levinas does not seek to propose laws or moral rules, does not seek to determine a morality, but rather the essence of the ethical relation in general.” And what one define as ethics, others as “philosophy of love”, in Derrida’s words it is “Ethics of Ethics”.
By the first lines of his mature work “Totality and Infinity” Levinas discloses his intentions to set “Ethics as First Philosophy”: “Everyone will readily agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by morality.” Obvious from the very beginning of his work, Levinas is initially concerned about the reduction