File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 81

Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 20:48:07 +0000
Subject: Re: Fear.


I had thought of the Levinas angle but discarded it, for myself at 
least, because of my rejection of his ethics.  Beyond the critique of 
Levinas by Badiou, there is something deeply reactionary in statements 
such as "...Ethics is, therefore, against nature because it forbids the 
murderousness of my natural will to put my own existence first..."  

steve wrote:

>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 


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