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The Place of the Other in Ethics: A Critical Analysis of Levinas's Reading of Buber / מקום האחר באתיקה: ניתוח הביקורת של לוינס את תורת המוסר של בובר

ניב גורדון and Neve Gordon
Daat: A Journal of Jewish Philosophy & Kabbalah / דעת: כתב-עת לפילוסופיה יהודית וקבלה
No. 48 (חורף תשס"ב), pp. 109-123
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24219076
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Place of the Other in Ethics: A Critical Analysis of Levinas's Reading of Buber / מקום האחר באתיקה: ניתוח הביקורת של לוינס את תורת המוסר של בובר
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Abstract

This paper discusses the place of the other in Buber's ethics. Focusing on Levinas,s critique of Buber's notion of reciprocity, I maintain that Buber's thought does not lend itself to an ethical that commences with, or is founded upon, the other. Ethics, according to Buber, begins when one says Thou, for in genuine dialogue one cannot handle or take over the other side. Simultaneously, one must be concerned for one's own side; one must focus on the will with which one enters into the relation. Accordingly, ethics is based on reciprocity, while reciprocity, in turn, does not mean symmetry. Unlike Levinas, Buber believes that "if all were clothed and well nourished, then the real ethical problem would become wholly visible for the first time."

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