Kearneys Ethical Imagination, or Levinas and Hermeneutics

Jack Marsh


In this paper, I examine Kearney's call for an ethical imagination from a specifically Levinasian perspective. I begin by reviewing Kearney's proposal, querying the structure of his ethical imagination. I then give a brief sketch of Levinas's thought with special attention to his theme of le tiers, and the necessary passage from ethics to the politics of justice. I will argue that Kearny's diacritical method exemplifies an appropriate approach to the said, the region of justice, history, and politics, while suggesting that Levinas offers Kearney a more radical anthropology than can be found in Ricoeur. My wager is that a basic tension that manifests in Kearney's determination of the ethical imagination may ideally correlate to the aporetic passage from ethics to politics in Levinas such that they exhibit a specific complementarity. I conclude by exploring the problems and promises of my argument and the motives for my thesis.

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