Emmanuel Levinas Phenomenology Ethical Constructivism Thesis

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Emmanuel Levinas Phenomenology

Ethical Constructivism

Emmanuel Levinas was a French philosopher and an intellectual scholar whose propositions and influence expounded on the study of phenomenology. While drawing ideas on his philosophies, Emmanuel met a German philosopher, Martin Heidegger who was fully affiliated to the Nazis. This affiliation-based Emmanuel's phenomenological philosophy under enthusiastic criticism of Heidegger. His influential study of western philosophy led to the comprehension of existential phenomenology in France and led to the development of ethical and morality, based on the eventual activities of the World War II. In addition, the philosophy developed included an inter-subjective relation to ethics through deontology, utilitarianism, self-legislation and virtue ethics. This greatly assisted in developing a conceptual sense and affectivity to Emmanuel's propositions. In this context, Emmanuel Levinas exemplifies ethical rationality and human freedom by inputting time and transcendence of totality and infinity into phenomenological description.

In representing time and ethics of the Other, Levinas phenomenology explores the conditions that offer possibilities of good actions to the interest of human lives

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. This phenomenological perception deals with the critique of Heidegger's alternative philosophies on Totality and Infinity in light of three thematic concerns; existence, human Other and transcendence. These themes dilate the entire concept of Levinas phenomenology by providing descriptions and characterizations of constructivism. Comprehension of constructivism under the ethical description of Levinas, presumes the misconceptions, impositions and misconstructions that may be availed in advanced experience, either through cultural, religious, human senses or from different fields of science.

TOPIC: Thesis on Emmanuel Levinas Phenomenology Ethical Constructivism Emmanuel Levinas Assignment

According to Levinas, phenomenology articulates fragility of ethical imperatives. As explanations of the ethical Other, by cutting through moral ambiguity, absolute and indestructible responsibility. This notion has described how human freedom (deontology) results to uncertainty of an ethical life. In addition, Levinas approach and thoughts on contemporary issues marginalizes the ideas of other philosophies by proposing the arguments on alterity as a matter of singularity. Levinas accounts in relation to Heidegger's philosophies and phenomenological traditions are depicted through metaphysics, constructivism, transcendence, totality and infinity, truth, discourse, deontology, phenomenology of Eros, descriptive psychology, absolute notion, Husserl philosophy and the Intuition theory.

Metaphysics and the Intuition Theory

According to Levinas, metaphysics is the face-to-face relationship, especially in relation to Totality and Infinity. The proximity in this relationship is a privileged and primordial phenomenon of gentleness as the close distance is felt. In relation to phenomenology, Levinas links this to the eventual repetition of everyday actions, but irreducible to objectified existence conceived intentionally. The face-to-face relationship interrupts premeditated consciousness, either in situational aloneness or solipsistic quality

. Aspects from totality and infinity led to Levinas quote "(t) he true life is absent. But we are in the world. Metaphysics arises and is maintained in this alibi…" Metaphysics is, therefore, distinguished using the facts that it moves towards something totally and entirely, that is towards the absolute other which is not merely other, but absolutely other. Its otherness, nevertheless, cannot be contrasted to the subjectivity. This means that metaphysical is fundamentally superior if Levinas perception is to be adopted; hence representing metaphysics as a transcendent proper.

Levinas phenomenology advocated for the existence of the Other in the context of Heidegger's alternative to totality and Infinity. The latter reduced the capacities of having a human being to theoretical relationships, among which metaphysical desire is a part. It is a dialect relation to the different ways in which quotidian desires determine lack. Similarly, this metaphysical desire is conclusive in the restoration or satisfaction in the subject of a given absorption of the object

The theory of intuition is a keen follow-up into Husserl's phenomenology philosophy. According to Husserl, his criticism of naturalism is a negative aspect he terms as limitation. Husserl also believed in the absolute presence of consciousness, and goes beyond that to show the existence of consciousness as an accurate science and that all aspects have to be grounded on the basis of consciousness which is the absolute source that reserves all meaning. He also believed in the phenomenological presence of being, which is both inescapable and, therefore, inevitable. Levinas, on the contrary, emerged with concepts of perception and judgment, which he thought were to be given exceptional priority when tackling phenomenology. Levinas was also in support of the concept of intellectualism, which he researched on and came up with conclusions stating that intellectualism, "prepare(s) the way for the intuitionist theory of truth," because "for the first time, judgment and perception are brought together and put on the same level" (Levinas, 1995, p.21).

Levinas propositions are inquisitive to ethical metaphysics, thoughts drawn from his distinctive and contribution to philosophy. Though intuition was Husserl early work, relations can be drawn from ethics and phenomenology. Heidegger's expository on alterity of Totality and infinity depicted a bias favor in theoretical consciousness, materialism and objectification of his ontological criticism. Levinas diverged from Heidegger's ontology descriptions due to lack of ethical significance, a precise representation of phenomenological inter-subjectivity.


Heidegger's contribution to the Nazism depicted very little about his contribution to ethical enquiry.

His perception is an articulation prior a division amid a being and his or her identity. In addition, his is a struggle about the possibility of postmodern ethics. However, according to Levinas, ethics was, in fact, expected to precede metaphysics. Ethics is a first philosophy, and metaphysics can be termed as a subordinate under ethics and the concept of justice. Despite the traditional understanding of ethics, which was regarded in the western philosophies as a concept or discipline under philosophy, other ways were searched to assist the western philosophers appreciate the fact that ethics was all about other persons described as otherness during metaphysics. Ethics is what was prevents most of the global attempts to provide final explanations. In addition, Levinas reverted and defended his philosophy, against the traditional understanding of ethics. Contemporary perception asserts that ethics is related to egoism that could be defined as a relation to oneself as a primary relation such as in the works of Locke and Hobbes.

Another perception is that human beings have a responsibility to the Other, which is the most fundamental structure upon which all the other social structures will be founded

. Therefore, a phenomenological description of Ethics is currently understood as an egocentric behaving mode, nor a buildup of theories, but involvement in the limitation of a person's freedom with intentions of being open to other people in a manner that will allow them to be constrained by the others. Evidently, ethical codes are amid human actions and determine their level of rational motivation. This means it is an aspect that is inescapable by any human being. In addition, Levinas insisted that ethical is the spiritual itself, hence cannot be overcome by anything. It comes first. This concept of ethicality brought about the sense leading to the title of Levinas book entitled 'Humanism of the Other Man'.

In metaethics, constructivism is just a contributor to normative ethics. Levinas philosophies are a constructivist project due to its phenomenological propositions and hermeneutics of human experience. These experiences determine the human encounter with the universe, the human Other and a re-enactment of an encrusted interior characterized by responsiveness and affectivity.

In accordance with to constructivism opinions in ethics, the very truth of any single normative claim is part of the claim being entailed within the practical point-of-view. When constructivism is characterized in ethics, then the result is differentiation between the metaethical versions of constructivism and the restricted versions of the same. The restricted views in ethics usually specify selected restricted sets of claims, which are normative. The restricted versions insist that the truth of a given claim falling within the set will be constituted in the claim being entailed from within a practical viewing point/perception. Ideally, the most fundamental goal or objective of constructivism views is to assign an account stating the truth, in relation to a set of normative claims. According to Rawl, restricted constructivism viewpoint asserts that truth of claims that concerns sociopolitical justice in a liberal and democratic society consists of being part of the view's original position. Entrenched in an original position set-up, certain prescriptive judgments implicit political culture to the public in a liberal democratic society.

(Street, 2009, p 8).

Scanlon's restricted constructivist view is that the truths of claims concerned with the acting of right or wrong that is what oneself owes to the other, consists of their being entailed from a certain point-of-view of a contractual situation. The contractual situation is that the normative judgment is inevitable, where everyone has a reason to live with others under specific and certain terms that cannot be rejected due to unenforced agreements, which are general, unless adequate grounds are established to reject the agreement. Mostly, restrictive constructivism hardly gives the truth of other substantive normative views.

In contrary, the metaethical constructivism views do seek to provide a distinguished account of the truth in normative claims. In the process of doing this, the latter views try to appeal the ideas related to what will follow within the practical point if… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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