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Religions 2018, 9(12), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120381

The Other, Shame, and Politics: Levinas, Justice, and Feeling Responsible

English Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515, USA
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Levinas and the Political)
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Abstract

Adi Ophir has suggested that the political realm is an order of evils, producing and managing regular forms of suffering and violence rather than eliminating them. Thus, the political is always to some extent a corrupted order of justice. Emmanuel Levinas’ work presents in its focus on the face-to-face relationship a means of rethinking how to make the political more open to compassionate justice. Though Levinas himself doesn’t sufficiently take on this question, I argue that his work facilitates a way of thinking about commiserative shame that provides a means to connect the face-to-face to its potential effects in the political sphere. If such shame isn’t ignored or bypassed, it produces an unsettling relation to the other that in its adversity motivates a kind of responsibility and care for the other that can alter the public sphere. View Full-Text
Keywords: commiseration; shame; sympathy; Levinas; responsibility; other; guilt; law; evil; politics commiseration; shame; sympathy; Levinas; responsibility; other; guilt; law; evil; politics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Larocco, S. The Other, Shame, and Politics: Levinas, Justice, and Feeling Responsible. Religions 2018, 9, 381.

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