Levinas, the Frankfurt School and Psychoanalysis

Overview

Talmudic scholar and postmodern philosopher Emmanuel Levinas was one of the 20th-century's most important philosophers. Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray and Jean-François Lyotard were among the thinkers most influenced by Levinas. Drawing upon both the object relations tradition in psychoanalysis, as well as the work of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, C. Fred Alford argues that postmodern ethics such as that inspired by Levinas risk devaluing ordinary human attachments in favor of ...
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(72) New Softcopy .. "Few recent theorists have been as widely admired as Emmanuel Levinas, who exhorts us to treat the other as if we were hostage to his or her ethical ... demands without a claim on reciprocal treatment. Although fully acknowledging the power of this vision, the author carefully probes the problematic implications of Levinas's understanding of human interaction. The author provides a sober challenge to the assumption that Levinas can serve as the guiding spirit of ethical practice in a postmodern age..." Read more Show Less

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Overview

Talmudic scholar and postmodern philosopher Emmanuel Levinas was one of the 20th-century's most important philosophers. Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Luce Irigaray and Jean-François Lyotard were among the thinkers most influenced by Levinas. Drawing upon both the object relations tradition in psychoanalysis, as well as the work of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, C. Fred Alford argues that postmodern ethics such as that inspired by Levinas risk devaluing ordinary human attachments in favor of relationships "without relation," as Levinas puts it. An accessible introduction to Levinas and an insightful critique of the Frankfurt School, this book will be a valuable contribution to the fields of philosophy, critical theory and psychoanalysis.
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What People Are Saying

Martin Gliserman
"Alford's broad conversation, with Winnicott, Murdoch Adorno, Greek tragedy and, always, the reader -- focused on Levinas and thus on ethics, eros and infinity -- is intense, complex and lucid. Best of all, compelling and expanding."
Martin Gliserman, Associate Prof. of English, Editor Emeritus, American Imago, Rutgers University
Martin Gliserman
“Alford's broad conversation, with Winnicott, Murdoch Adorno, Greek tragedy and, always, the reader — focused on Levinas and thus on ethics, eros and infinity — is intense, complex and lucid. Best of all, compelling and expanding.”
Martin Jay
“Using the tools of Frankfurt School Critical Theory and psychoanalytic Object Relations Theory, Alford provides a sober challenge to the assumption that Levinas can serve as the guiding spirit of ethical practice in a postmodern age.”
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Product Details

Meet the Author

C. Fred Alford is Professor of Government at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent books include Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power (2001) and What Evil Means to Us (1997).
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Table of Contents

Preface
Someone Rings Your Doorbell
Levinas, Winnicot, and “There Is”
Murdoch, Adorno, and Levinas
Psychoanalysis, Politics, and “Freedom With”
Love, Pity, and Humanity
Notes
References
Index
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