File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 83

Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 16:22:46 -0500
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 
>such as "...Ethics is, therefore, against nature because it 
forbids the 
>murderousness of my natural will to put my own existence 

I don't see what's necessarily reactionary about this 
position, Steve.  Surely you don't mean to suggest that 
Levinas is anything like a biological determinist. Though I 
don't want to overlook the always difficult context of his 
work, isn't he simply saying that while nature is 
indifferent, people need not be fatalistic?  

I've yet to read Badiou (plan to begin this week), but 
doesn't Levinas mean something quite distinct when he 
says "against nature"?  I do know he wasn't in favor of 
putting his own existence first... rather, his whole ouvre 
stands against precisely this.  

Or do you see ethics as something other than an artificial 
means by which better versions of ourselves might be 

Don Socha


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