This chapter poses questions specific to the philosophy of intersubjectivity as described by Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel. It examines Marcel’s work through the eyes of Levinas—with the dual goals of attempting to answer some of Levinas’s criticisms and, simultaneously, bringing into sharper relief those issues on which significant disagreement remains. First, the question of otherness on a transcendental level is considered. The transcendental philosophy of Levinas and Marcel is then discussed. Levinas’s transcendental critique argues that sociality is prior to ontology and that sociality requires a distinct and separate other who is absolutely other prior to an encounter with the self. Levinas insists that the other is absolutely other, while Marcel would clearly reject such a black and white distinction.
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