Archive for the ‘Levinas’ Category

[Quick article summary] Rocco Gangle: Laruelle for Levinas

June 15, 2010

This is a very quick summary of Rocco’s article Laruelle for Levinas. He uses Plotinus to frame the problem of the relation of the One to enjoyment and sensibility, in regards to Levinas’ move from the ontological (in Totality and Infinity) to the ethical (in Otherwise than Being). Once he has expounded exactly where Levinas makes his crucial Decision in regards to the Real, Gangle reports that even though Levinas never identifies them, the ‘saying’ opens the possibility of torture, persecution and killing,just as much as an ethical response. Gangle uses non-philosophy to remedy this paradox. It’s an excellent article and neatly explains, through demonstration, exactly how non-philosophy works.

So, to summarize all too quickly:  Non-philosophy de-authorizes the Decision that correlates Levinas’ concepts from reciprocal determination of the Real, to concepts taken in their radical contingency. What was taken by Levinas as the condition and the conditioned (of the saying and the said) for ethics as first philosophy is without guarantee: ethics cannot be correlated to a principle governing all material reality (there can be no ethics-in-the-first-instance, as the Real is not ethical – the real is undetermined). Levinas via Laruellian dualysis can be seen to speak as a Stranger not as a philosopher, his concepts given over to the force (of) thought of his genuine address as ‘human disposition’ (his ‘postural flux’), the ‘material vulnerability’ of his “here I am”, freed from the ontological trap between the saying and the said.

In light of Laruelle’s Principles of a Generic ethics essay, Gangle lets causality of Levinas’ philosophy be disentangled from its ends and observed in the immanence of a ‘quarterial’ subject of means. This ‘quarterial’ subject stands not before the face of the Other but the face of the One, where ‘responsibility’ is not determined-in-the-first-instance but in the contingency of-the-last.

I hope to post a summary and explanation of Principles of a Generic Ethics as soon as I’m happy with it (I’ve finally got my head around some of the more abstract things in the article concerning circles, so I should be finished soon). I would like to compare his notion of means to that of Agamben’s ‘means without ends’ at some point, but Agamben I find is deceptively difficult, so I may need to re-read a few things before I make an attempt at that).

[Quick quote] Levinas: Existence and Existents

June 13, 2010

Now off to bed, long after I should be… The Monstrosity of Christ is very good though. Zizek’s on form (and as repetitive in his sources and anecdotes) as ever. I am still quite impressed with just how he goes through Christianity to get to atheism, with all dialectical guns blazing in the process, even though I’m familiar with the logic of this story already. . . it’s like watching a particularly impressive magic trick again.  Also, seems to be using an awful lot of Chesterton, but to good effect… The comparison of The Man Who Was Thursday with V for Vendetta was especially intriguing.