04/11/2010

Mr Levinas, Gamesmaster


When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity...When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.”
- Graham Greene



"WE ARE ALL HOSTAGES


WE ARE ALL JEWS


WE ARE ALL SURVIVORS


WE ARE ALL CANNIBALS


WE ARE ALL SAINTS."




**********************************************************



[cmd:/run {existence}]

---Welcome to Being!

---You usurp {Djellali Mohd}. What gives you the right to do that to him? You take {200} Shame Points!

---You see Dave, the guy who always gives you hassle about your hair!


[FACETOFACE ENCOUNTER!]


---You see {9} Responsibility Points!

[cmd:/take 9RP]

---You receive 9000 Shame Points!

[cmd:/give sandwich: Dave]


---Dave is {still hungry}!
---Shame total {8999}


---Through Dave's Face, you realize you are related (always-already asymmetrically non-subsumptive divinely) to all Thirds! You now have {6.999999 billion} dependents!

[cmd:/fill conscience with RP]

---You don't feel good! Critical shame!

[cmd:/suicide]

---That is abandonment! Are you sure?

[cmd:/Y]

---You abandon Others infinitely! You lose!


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A PRIMARY SCHOOL REPORT CARD, SOMEWHERE IN LITHUANIA, 1916

Name: Emmanuel Levinas
DOB: 12/01/06
This term's personal Project: Unconditional being-for-the-other in papier maché.
Timeframe: Hm.
Budget: Oh!
Progress: N/A

Comments: Must try harder.



*******************************************************


The formal problem I have with Levinas is that so much of his work is sited beyond the lead curtain of the rhetoric of Being. This excuses his work for not being easily visualized or schematized (which Anglo-American philosophy tends to demand as a condition of relevance), but it also creates the stench of patchouli and a serious issue with being sympathetic to him as you learn.


VECTORS IN LEVINASIAN PHILOSOPHY



  1. "ontology"" VS "meontology" (not-being, beyond being)


  2. The Other VS The Same


  3. ethics of freedom VS Levinasian ethics


  4. ethics of Sameness VS ethics of Alterity


  5. ontologies of power (every philosopher before him)


  6. Being-for-the-other vs Being-for-the-world

  7. NAKED FACE vs UNKNOWABLE FACE
  8. (maximal exposure vs the “signifier beyond all signification”)




    It's not that this is how Levinas wants things to be. It's not; he'd concede that this is pretty shit, after all. But it's how he thought things are, and how they are before everything else, like perception, consciousness and choice. Like great gamblers, we make the wager before we know what a wager is.




    "From the very start you are not indifferent to the other.
    From the very start you are not alone!
    Even if you adopt an indifferent attitude, you're obliged to adopt it!
    The other counts for you; you answer him
    as much as he addresses himself to you;
    he concerns you
    !"


    ("Suckers!")

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