Levinas and Lacan, two giants of contemporary theory, represent schools of thought that seem poles apart. In this major new work, Mari Ruti charts the ethical terrain between them.
At first glance, Levinansian and Lacanian approaches may seem more or less incompatible, and in many ways they are, particularly in their understanding of the self-other relationship. For both Levinas and Lacan, the subject's relationship to the other is primary in the sense that the subject, literally, does not exist without the other, but they see the challenge of ethics quite differently: while Levinas laments our failure to adequately meet the ethical demand arising from the other, Lacan laments the consequences of our failure to adequately escape the forms this demand frequently takes.
Although this book outlines the major differences between Levinas and Judith Butler on the one hand and Lacan, Slavoj Zizek, and Alain Badiou on the other, Ruti proposes that underneath these differences one can discern a shared concern with the thorny relationship between the singularity of experience and the universality of ethics.
Between Levinas and Lacan is an important new book for anyone interested in contemporary theory, ethics, psychoanalysis, and feminist and queer theory.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 326 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
Ruti brilliantly elucidates a wholly original and utterly compelling argument for rethinking the post-Enlightenment ethical subject. She does this by demonstrating how some of our most deeply held theoretical paradigms hinge on false oppositions: between the universal and the singular; the subject and the other; agency and subjectivity. Like a magical tour guide, Ruti takes us on a completely fresh journey through previously familiar lands, unsettling received wisdoms so comprehensively and so sensibly that it becomes impossible to recall how one could have ever seen it otherwise. * Jennifer Friedlander, Edgar E. and Elizabeth S. Pankey Professor and Associate Professor of Media Studies, Pomona College, USA *
An extraordinarily balanced book. By showing that Lacan and Levinas are both influenced by the enlightenment conception of subjectivity, Between Levinas and Lacan is one of the first books to bridge the theoretical divide between Lacanians and Levinasians, finding common ground where there is normally animosity and mistrust. It engages and explains these thinkers in a very accessible, and even often charming way, without sacrificing the complexity of anyone's thought. It's an impressive work of scholarship and a worthwhile guide to contemporary ethical debates. * Stefan Bird-Pollan, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky, USA, and Fulbright Professor for Humanities and Social Science 2014-2015, University of Vienna, Austria *