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Aspects of AlterityLevinas, Marcel, and the Contemporary Debate$
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Brian Treanor

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226849

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226849.001.0001

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Concrete Philosophy

Concrete Philosophy

(p.122) 5 Concrete Philosophy
Aspects of Alterity

Brian Treanor

Fordham University Press

While Emmanuel Levinas's critique is transcendental, Gabriel Marcel's is “concrete” or “existential”. Marcel's existential critique takes two general forms, although, to all intents and purposes, they amount to the same thing. He either attacks the “spirit of abstraction” that thinks it can understand the whole by abstracting and analyzing a part, or, without explicitly accusing a philosophy of abstraction, points out that it does not account for the fullness of lived experience. This chapter focuses on issues at a confluence of two dialogues. First, between Marcel and Levinas on the question of the existential accuracy of their respective accounts of intersubjectivity and alterity. Second, between Levinas and his (explicit) interlocutors and critics regarding those criticisms in line with the first dialogue.

Keywords:   Emmanuel Levinas, Gabriel Marcel, philosophy, existential critique, alterity, intersubjectivity

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