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Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy

Radical Passivity

Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas

Editors: Hofmeyr, Benda (Ed.)

  • This edited collection is the first in its kind to focus on the subject of radical passivity and to directly address criticisms leveled against Levinas’s prioritization of the Other as ethical cornerstone
  • This revaluation of Levinas’s thinking will provide a fundamental framework for reflecting on the resurgence of ethics in contemporary philosophy, literary and cultural theory
  • Unlike recent research done in France, this volume does not seek to indict Levinas for this "sacrificial ethics" but to critically assess to what extent his ethical metaphysics provides us with a basis for effective ethical action today
  • The contributors include renowned scholars from around the world, which gives the volume a guaranteed international appeal (specifically USA, UK and Europe)
  • The duo-paper structure of the volume generates an internal debate amongst the contributions, which cover the entire scope of Levinas’s work. This is instrumental in furnishing the reader with an unbiased and multi-dimensional perspective on radical passivity
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Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-9346-3
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Softcover $189.00
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  • ISBN 978-90-481-8110-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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About this book

Levinas’s ethical metaphysics is essentially a meditation on what makes ethical agency possible – that which enables us to act in the interest of another, to put the well-being of another before our own. This line of questioning found its inception in and drew its inspiration from the mass atrocities that occurred during the Second World War. The Holocaust , like the Cambodian genocide, or those in Rwanda and Srebrenica, exemplifies what have come to be known as the ‘never again’ situations. After these events, we looked back each time, with varying degrees of incomprehension, horror, anger and shame, asking ourselves how we could possibly have let it all happen again. And yet, atrocity crimes are still rampant. After Rwanda (1994) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992–1995), came Kosovo (1999) and Darfur (2003). In our present-day world , hate crimes motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, and mass hate such as genocide and terror, are on the rise (think, for example, of Burma, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and North Korea). A critical revaluation of the conditions of possibility of ethical agency is therefore more necessary than ever. This volume is committed to the possibility of ‘never again’. It is dedicated to all the victims – living and dead – of what Levinas calls the ‘sober, Cain-like coldness’ at the root of all crime against humanity , as much as every singular crime against another human being .

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Editor's Introduction: Passivity as Necessary Condition for Ethical Agency?

    Hofmeyr, Benda

    Pages 1-11

  • Radical Passivity: Ethical Problem or Solution?

    Hofmeyr, Benda

    Pages 15-30

  • Radical Passivity in Levinas and Merleau-Ponty (Lectures of 1954)

    Bergo, Bettina

    Pages 31-52

  • Sincerely Yours. Towards a Phenomenology of Me

    Peperzak, Adriaan

    Pages 55-66

  • Sincerely Me. Enjoyment and the Truth of Hedonism

    Duyndam, Joachim

    Pages 67-78

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-9347-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-9346-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-8110-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Radical Passivity
Book Subtitle
Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas
Editors
  • Benda Hofmeyr
Series Title
Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy
Series Volume
20
Copyright
2009
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-9347-0
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-9347-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-9346-3
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-8110-0
Series ISSN
1387-6678
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 152
Topics