Article/Publication Details

Neighbor – Thing

(Original title: Blížny – Vec)
Filozofia, 2012, vol. 67, No 8, pp. 670-676.
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The fragment from the author’s book offers one possible approach to the phenomenon of violence from the perspective of the difference between the Neighbor and Thing. The fear is nowadays the essential component of subjectivity. By postulating the immeasurable Other as the Neighbor Lévinas tries to approach the problem of the radical alien of the Other. The radical ambiguity of the alien reveals itself in a traumatized subject in whom the gap is permanently present as an inner split: the personal experience on one side and the horrifying deeds on the other. The offered “side-view” is based on the thesis that the inner content of every ethical stand is constituted in a violent gesture of exclusion, which also means scarifying the desire. The more universal the ethics, the more brutal this exclusion, which is a manifestation of non-consistency and powerlessness. Paradoxically, this condition is a positive one, making the ethical attitude as such possible.


Desire, E. Lévinas, Ethical attitude, Fear, J. Lacan, Neighbor, Sublimation, The gesture of exclusion, The Other, The particular, The universal, Thing

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