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The ExorbitantEmmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians$
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Kevin Hart and Michael A. Signer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230150

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230150.001.0001

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The Care of the Other and Substitution

The Care of the Other and Substitution

(p.201) The Care of the Other and Substitution
The Exorbitant

Jean-Luc Marion

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores Levinas's notion of substitution. This notion is astonishing, in fact, since it marks a redoubling of responsibility—in other words, “one degree of responsibility more, the responsibility for the responsibility of the other”—that involves me substituting myself for the other in what is most his own, his own responsibility: “the overemphasis of openness is responsibility for the other to the point of substitution.” This does not mean a simple hyperbole of responsibility, where I take upon myself, by sympathy or solidarity, the charge that belongs properly to the other. It means first of all “a responsibility with regard to men we do not even know,” but also and especially “responsibility for the persecutor”.

Keywords:   Emmanuel Levinas, substitution, responsibility, other

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