Re: "Letter on Humanism"--Readings 6 & 7


I will have to read through your comments a little more closely before
forming a response. But perhaps I can begin by asking you to clarify
something for me. In my mind, the question of Levinas' critique of
Heidegger--whether it is violent or pertinent or whatever--has not yet
been decided. I am in the process of beginning a reassessment of this
critique, and, currently, I have been surprised to find that not that much
as been written on the topic in the secondary literature. What I have seen
is largely confined to a few points, most notably, Levinas' critique of
Heidegger's equipmental approach in _BT_ and the appropriationg of self in
the face of my own death, which, by the way, I still do not accept from
Heidegger. Yet, I have noticed in Levinas an entire substratum of critique
that basically suggests that Heidegger's fundamental "ontology" is not
fundamental enough, that Heidegger still has yet to enter in to human
experience to unearth the topology of being, that Heidegger's
phenomenology does not, in fact, go far enough as a project. Once certain
substructures are brought to the fore from Levinas' phenomenology, his
critique of Heidegger seems more plausible. To be sure--and I would like
to stress this--Levinas' critique of Heidegger follows from presupposing
his own [Levinas'] "system." That should not surprise us, as all critiques
issue from a perspective. (Critique itself is a trans-perspectival
notion, is it not.) Indeed, Heidegger's critique of the entire Western
tradition cannot be separated from Heidegger's phenomenological viewpoint.
So, here is my question: on what grounds do you think that Levinas'
critique of Heidegger is unsubstantiated and based on a misreading?


Anthony F. Beavers, Ph.D. / Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion
The University of Evansville / Evansville, Indiana 47722 / (812)479-2682
Metaethics, Metaphysics, Existentialism, and the Judeo-Christian Tradition
Visit the Academy of Human Arts and Sciences

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