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Title: Torsion and temulence in the work of Emmanual Lévinas : a critical examination of the staging and regulation of ethical space
Author: Roesch-Marsh, Edward
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This study engages the problem of ethical space in the work of Emmanuel Levinas by situating the ‘production’ of what Levinas will term the ‘face’ (le visage) against the horizons of its institution. It is against these horizons, it will be maintained, horizons apt for phenomenological reconstitution, that the face is revealed qua face. Through a broadening of such Levinasian explicata as ‘filiality’, ‘fecundity’, ‘fraternity’, ‘teaching’ and ‘maternity’, the heritability of the face will be deduced and the face placed within the context of its imperative milieu – the ethical circumstances of its signification. This injunctive environment, the staging or mise-en-scène for the face-to-face relation Levinas assays, will, pace Levinas, be exhibited upon the ground of its constitution and its provenance scrutinized, in order that the legacy of the face might be complicated, and its putative non-historical status, challenged. It will be argued that Levinas limits, unnecessarily, the ambit of what her permits to signify as a face, and thus that tacitly deposited suppositions regulate the composition and configuration of the face within his work. These posita will be worked lose from their situs and critically examined with a view to assessing their influence upon the development of Levinas’ thought. Through recourse to the phenomenologies of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Levinas’ presentation of ethical space (the espacement of ethics) will be appraised in the light of the phenomenologies it purportedly interrupts. The cogency of Levinas’ pro-ethical insight will be evaluated in relation to the cultural-religious illustrations he deploys. The tension, or torsion, between Levinas’ self-styled ‘confessional’ and ‘philosophical’ works will be laid bare, and their underlying confluence mooted. Effort has been made to delineate the overall trajectory of Levinas’ thought, and to treat the Levinasian project as a whole, such that the chosen problematic might be treated more adequately.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available