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The Renewal of Phenomenology in France: Levinas and Marion

Szegedi, Nora

Phänomenologische Forschungen, Bd. 2019 (2019), Iss. 1: S. 173–189

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Szegedi, Nora


Starting from Hans-Dieter Gondek’s and Laszlo Tengelyi’s statement concerning the recent development of French phenomenology, I examine the relation between Marion’s phenomenology of givenness and Levinas’ ethics. Focusing on their common concept of the call (appeal), I demonstrate, first, that Marion’s general concept of the phenomenon is based on Levinas’ idea of the manifestation of the Other, which he deprives of its original ethical meaning. In the second part I criticize Marion’s anti-ethical reading of Levinas, while trying to give a tenable interpretation of the meaning of the ethical. Taking into consideration the results of the second section, in the third part, I look into the possibility of a different general phenomenology starting from Levinas’ ethics. By this rather sketchy idea I intend to provide a possible alternative to Marion’s general phenomenology of givenness, which maintains the privilege of the Other and, consequently, the primacy of ethics