CFP: AUC Interpretationes "Ipseity and Alterity: Re-thinking Subjectivity with Levinas"

Submission deadline: November 30, 2020

Topic areas


Ipseity and Alterity: Re-thinking Subjectivity with Levinas

*The forthcoming issue of Interpretationes is focused on the Levinasian innovation in the research field of the subjectivity, and more specifically the concepts of “Ipseity” and “Alterity” are taken in closer regard. 

Philosophies revolving around the concept of subjectivity seem to have already been out-of-date in the current philosophical debate, whereas philosophies “after” subjectivity have taken their place. Nevertheless, if we dare to emphasize the vividness of a particular philosophy that takes subjectivity as a central theme, in what other sense could it be more than a simple anachronism? What are the characteristics of such vividness? To what kind of philosophical debates might such a philosophy lead us, and could it shed light upon the problems of our time? Seeking to find some possible answers to these questions, the forthcoming issue of Interpretationes is dedicated to Emmanuel Levinas and his innovations in the field of subjectivity, concerning especially the notions of “Ipseity” and “Alterity”

Grounded in the phenomenological tradition, the Jewish-French philosopher invites us to rethink numerous traditional notions. Notably, it is no exaggeration to say that Levinas’ philosophical inquiry is a way to develop a new ethical concept of subjectivity: the Hypostase as birth of the ego from the anonymous and impersonal Being, followed by its enjoyment, possession and domination of the world, leads to the transcendence from this inner egoism into the absolute responsibility for others. His latest formulations as “l'autre-dans-le-même” or “l’un-pour-l’autre” imply all of those phases, determined always in relation to alterity. His thinking is neither a reinforcement of the identical subjectivity, nor a simple denial of subjectivity itself. On the contrary, subjectivity is ipseity, yet fundamentally conditioned on the alterity.

These innovative conceptions of subjectivity are able to inspire many philosophers, who explore the crucial role of subjectivity without the primacy of the egological sphere or its sovereign identity over the otherness. Moreover, not only their significations do not belong to the field of philosophy, but also provide some conceptual tools to the problems of our time, such as the migration policy or justice regarding many political detainees. For example, in the debate regarding the restriction of wearing the hijab in 2010, some political parties made reference to Levinas. Thus, “Ipseity and Alterity” should not be considered solely as a special topic for close-reading. Rather, it encompasses the various areas of Levinasian thoughts and its practical applications. We invite you to contribute to one/some of the following topics.

- Researches about corporeity, affectivity or spatio-temporality especially from the phenomenological, aesthetic or cognitive-scientific approaches;

- Researches comparing the thoughts of Levinas with transcendental philosophies or focusing on methodological issues;

- Researches regarding the relation between ethics and politics or the political;

- Researches concerning Levinasian descriptions of the manner of being of Ego or of the experience of Other (for example: hypostase, enjoyment, egoism, Eros, fecundity, discourse, violence, substitution, etc.);

- Researches on the Levinasian critique or redetermination concerning the notions of the classical philosophy, such as transcendence and immanence, finitude and infinitude, truth, freedom and will, Being and beings, essence, first philosophy, representation, etc.;

- Researches in regard to historical contexts and influences from/to other philosophers;

- Levinasian researches in the field of literary criticism;

- Researches concerning implications of Levinasian philosophy in regard to the problems of the determination of Other (political or religious conflicts, refugees, mass migration and immigrated workers, minorities, racism, globalization, etc.) in the contemporary society;

- Actual or possible dialogues, whether polemical or complementary, with other disciplines like sociology, anthropology, theology, aesthetics, hermeneutics, history, political sciences, law, etc.;

- Book Reviews about published translations of Levinas’ works or about secondary literature sources;

Please, send papers to [email protected]and also to [email protected] by November 30, 2020, at the latest. We accept papers only in French, German and English. Please follow the attached submission format.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)