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Ethics and Politics after PoststructuralismLevinas, Derrida and Nancy$
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Madeleine Fagan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748685134

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748685134.001.0001

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The Limits of Theory

The Limits of Theory

Ethics, Politics, Practice

(p.125) Chapter 5 The Limits of Theory
Ethics and Politics after Poststructuralism

Derrida Levinas


Edinburgh University Press

This chapter develops a rereading of the concept of the ethico-political around three key areas drawn from the readings of Derrida, Levinas and Nancy in previous chapters: an injunction to recognise the limits of theory and the emergence of conduct at these limits; the collapse of the ontological/normative distinction when approaching ethics as ontology; and an engagement with the implications of the displacement of transcendent alterity. Using the concept of transimmanence the chapter argues for displacing the logocentric hierarchy of same and Other. This offers an alternative to the dominant way in which the potential of poststructuralist ethics has been understood in terms of the interruption of totalisation by transcendent alterity. Here, while interruption remains important, it loses its figure or content; instead, interruption itself takes first place, returning us to the realm of practice.

Keywords:   Ethics, limits, transimmanence, conduct, practice, totalisation, alterity, ethico-political, ontology, transcendence

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