File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 59


Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 09:05:05 -0500
Subject: Re: Fear.



All,

Just wanted to chime in on what has been a fascinating look at "fear" over the 
last week or so.  Here is a definition of "fear" that puts a positive spin on 
the term by Levinas:  "To love is to fear for another, to come to the 
assistance of his fraility" (Totality and Infinity, 256).  

Levanis has a great deal to say about "fear" in the trembling-murming-swarming-
de-worlding of the There Is ("Il y a").  His notion, as I presently understand 
it, is towards a hospitality-welcoming of the Other which stands in contrast to 
what he sees as a Being-towards-Death in Heidegger.  

"To love is to fear for another"?  

If one were to shorten this definition to "To love is to fear" (without 
reference to "another"), where does this lead the subject?  Perhaps I am off 
base here, but I read in Camus's existentialism a kind of loving-fear of the 
subject.  Sisyphus.  "The only serious philosophical question is suicide."  A 
brand of Being-towards-Death, an anxiety within being.

"To love is to fear for another"  

Does the US fear for others in its policies?  Is there not, rather, too 
much "courage."  Can in these times we find dread in such resolve?  
Fearing "courage" as much as fear itself?

"To love is to fear for another"

Levinas is difficult to stretch into politics.  His love, his fear is for the 
face-to-face, one's neighbor.  That is the managable micro-level, 
micro-love(l), perhaps.  To fear for the other beyond one's fear for oneself.  
This, then, in a Levinasian sense is an infinite fear, without regard to 
whether such fear will be returned in kind.  

If this fear is returned, however--this fear from the other--there may yet be 
hope.  

Geof            

   

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