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Title: Good infinity : Hegel, Levinas and the accomplishment of ethical life
Author: Gorman, Anthony James Paul
ISNI:       0000 0001 3506 8011
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1994
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This study presents a critique of the social and political thought of Emmanuel Levinas. We aim to demonstrate that Levinas' hostile characterisation of Hegel's System serves to disguise a latent 'Hegelian' dimension in his own thought. Levinas' covert Hegelianism has essentially three aspects: first, Levinas, like Hegel, advances a post-critical concept of the infinite; second, his philosophical discourse bears a strong family resemblance to Hegel's speculative logic: and, third, notwithstanding his protests to the contrary, his philosophy exhibits a systematic structure (in the speculative sense of the term). By identifying these speculative motifs in Levinas' work we show, first, that it is possible to subject Levinas to an immanent Hegelian critique and we then proceed to execute it. The dominant trend in Levinasian interpretation, follows Derrida, and tends to overlook the significance of Levinas' concept of society. We aim to show, however, that the notion of a visible ethical community is at the centre of Levinas' philosophy. Moreover, we attempt to demonstrate that Levinas’ concept of an ethical community is ultimately incompatible with the subjective principle underlying modem social and political life. This in turn leads Levinas to violate his own emphasis on respecting the absolute alterity of the Other. Finally, we attempt to show that Hegel's System provides a way of redeeming the ambition of Levinas' philosophy, while avoiding its negative implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology