Radicalizing Levinas

Edited by Peter Atterton & Matthew Calarco

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Political Theory, Philosophy, Social Theory, Environmental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Radical Social and Political Theory
Paperback : 9781438430966, 231 pages, June 2010
Hardcover : 9781438430973, 231 pages, June 2010

Table of contents

Editors’ Introduction
List of Abbreviations

Part I: Politics

1. Precarious Life
Judith Butler

2. Levinas, Feminism, and Identity Politics
Diane Perpich

3. Five Problems in Levinas’s View of Politics and the Sketch of a Solution to Them
Simon Critchley

Part II: Postcolonialism and Globalization

4. Postcolonial Thought and Levinas’s Double Vision
Robert Eaglestone

5. Globalization and World Hunger: Kant and Levinas
Robert Bernasconi

Part III: Animals and the Environment

6. Levinas and the Elemental
John Sallis

7. Pursuing Levinas and Ferry toward a Newer and More Democratic Ecological Order
John Llewelyn

8. Faced by Animals
Matthew Calarco

Part IV: Science and Technology

9. Levinas’s Other and the Culture of the Copy
Edith Wyschogrod

10. Ethics and Cybernetics: Levinasian Reflections
Richard A. Cohen

Part V: Social and Personal Disorganization

11. Education East of Eden: Levinas, the Psychopath, and the Paradox of Responsibility
Claire Katz

12. “The Talking Cure”: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Peter Atterton


Levinas ahead of his time--and himself--on politics, postcolonialism and globalization, animals and the environment, and science and technology.


Radicalizing Levinas initiates a third wave of Levinas scholarship. If the first wave was aimed at commentary and exposition, and the second focused on situating Levinas with the context of poststructuralism and deconstruction, the third wave is an explicit attempt to situate and explore his work in the context of current social and political problems. A short list of these are: civil war in Iraq, ethnic cleansing in Sudan, ongoing fighting between Palestinians and Israelis, and suicide bombings. Alongside these evils we hear of school shootings, global warming, widespread famine, immeasurable animal suffering, environmental decay, and increasing social and personal disorganization. How can a Levinasian ethics help us make sense of this? Levinas scholars respond and help move from theory to practice by addressing such topics as global justice, feminism, environmentalism, animal liberation, postcolonialism, radical democracy, technology and cybernetics, and psychotherapy. This book is for anyone seeking to understand better how philosophy can inform contemporary life.