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Derrida and Levinas on Hospitality

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So I do LD, and I'm prepping for my camp topic, Immigration ought to be recognized as a human right.

 

I found a few interesting cards for an NC which says how lifting immigration restrictions is an act of un-genuine(?) hospitality (the sovereign state is letting in immigrants, yet they are still preserving their power over them and using them for their own self-interest), and I was thinking I could develop a framework something along the lines of an ethic of hospitality. Does anyone know of any resources I could use to cut cards from (or some cards) to philosophically justifying that ethics demand genuine hospitality to the other? 

 

I know that Levinas and Derrida have done extensive writing on ethics and the Other, and I also know that Derrida has done a decent amount of work with the concept of hospitality. However, I skimmed about 50 pages of Derrida's "Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas" and, probably due to the density of Derrida's writing, couldn't really find too much about the link between ethics and hospitality.

 

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Judith Butler writes a lot of shit about the same topics and is heavily influenced by Levinas in her writings. I'm not sure if the specificity will be at the level you need with any of her writings, but I know that she's a potential author.

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If you want, Agamben and his secondaries write about how immigrants frequently are found in a "state of exception" when they emigrate because they might not get the green card/citizenship and are economically endangered and stripped of rights. It might be a little bit easier to explain and get tangible impacts to 

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Well Derrida actually K's Levinasian ethics so...

 

Anyways if you want something more approachable you could try Puar's ethics of conviviality I guess. 

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Well Derrida actually K's Levinasian ethics so...

 

Anyways if you want something more approachable you could try Puar's ethics of conviviality I guess. 

>more approachable

>puar and conviviality

These two things do not go together.

 

@OP google "levinas ethics mexican border" there's a ton of stuff there about immigration and ethics.

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Caputo 1997 (John D. Caputo, “Deconstruction in a Nutshell: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida” Fordham University Press)//MG

 

This has what you are looking for

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Here are some Levinas notes and cards I have around, not exactly what you're looking for but it may help if you continue to look for stuff on hospitality. Try and find the Levinas/Derrida affs about Cuba from the Latin America topic

notes—Levinas’ ethics

From pp. 37-39 of Zeiler 12:

Self and Other

The “self will make the world its own. This is fine as long as the self does not relate to the Other,” which is “irreducible to the self’s own thinking.” Levinas’ argument is that “the self must refrain from seeking to reduce [the Other] to its own categories.”

 

Sensibility

Sensibility “refers to a basic level of [consciousness] which is affective and prereflective rather than cognitive and thematic.” In other words, it’s about sense-ability. “It can be exemplified … when we enter a room and ‘feel’ whether the atmosphere is tense or relaxed, before anyone utters a word. We may even ‘understand’ the situation … before we start thinking about what to do, because of this sensibility to others and the world.”

“Levinas … states that sensibility is prior to reason. It is prior to any reflection on who the other is or on how we should act when the other needs our help. … we can be affected by the other before we start to deliberate … Sensibility makes the subject open and vulnerable to the other.”

Primacy of ethics

Levinas uses the example of your neighbor knocking on your door: the “knocking on the door disrupts what I may previously have been engaged in and calls me to the world of infinite possibilities: anyone can be on the other side of the door asking for anything. … I am always sensible to others and the world, and cannot choose not to be called by the other to the door, to the face-to-face encounter.”

 

Subjectivity

“Levinas can be read as seeking to elaborate a new conception of subjectivity which takes its starting point in the experience of the other. … I am ‘defined as a subjectivity, as a singular person … because I am exposed to the other. Iti s in my inescapable and incontrovertible answerability to the other that makes me an individual ‘I’ to the extent that I agree to dispose or dethrone myself—to abdicate my position of centrality—in favour of the vulnerable other.” By being “called forth by the other, … I come to exist as a singular ethical self: as me, the one being called by the other.” Subjectivity is ethical subjectivity.

 

 

Confrontation with the Other is the cornerstone in the search for the meaning of human existence

Kowalski 8.                                

Dean A. Kowalski (Asst. Prof. @ Univ. Wisconsin in Waukesha). “Steven Spielberg and Philosophy: We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Book”, 2008, Page 51 //dtac – This card has been gender modified.

Emmanuel Levinas turned away from traditional metaphysical understandings of existence to posit that “ethics,” the relationship of one (the “I”) to the “other,” is the first and central philosophical domain of human existence. In the work of Levinas (most notably in Existence and Existents in 1947 and Totality and Infinity in 1961), the other is unknowable, not tied within the bounds of subject or object. Man’s [Humanity’s] existence, therefore, is primarily and most importantly a function of one’s “ethical responsibility” to the “face” of the other.3 The face is the presence of the other before us, at any time and in whatever form, that we are compelled to engage and take responsibility for.4 Thus, the ultimate understanding of mankind, according to Levinas, is found in alterity, the sublime differences that exist between the “I” and the other. Within this philosophical argument, Levinas sought to turn human understanding from “knowledge as wisdom” to that of “love as wisdom”. It is important here to understand briefly what Levinas is really saying in terms of ethics. The concept of the Levinasian ethical response relies on his assertion that the other truly is “unknowable” in terms of its true self - that no matter how recognizable the other is to us, we can never comprehend its “self” as we do ourselves. To Levinas, the mere notion of a need for ethics in the first place arises from the interaction of the “I” (self) with the other. In other words, if one could truly “know” the other then one would not need to take ethical responsibility for that difference at all. Likewise, Levinas posits the concept of the “face” as being that part of the other that we can engage, that we can see and therefore “know,” and thus his ethical philosophy suggests that it is only through interaction with this face that human existence finds its meaning. To Levinas, then, the danger of engaging the face of the other resides in trying to breach the unknowable part of the other behind the face, whereas responsibility occurs when one accepts the unknowable nature of the other and engages it merely through “love.”5

 

we should focus on how we approach alterity rather than taking particularities to be descriptive of others Zeiler 12.

Kristin Zeiler (Assoc. Prof. Medical Ethics @ Division of Health and Society, Linköping Univ.). “With Levinas against Levinas,” in The Body as Gift, Resource, and Commodity: Exchanging Organs, Tissues, and Cells in the 21st Century, edited by Martin Gunnarson & Fredrik Svenaeus, Södertörns högskolebibliotek (2012), Pages 48-49 //dtac – this card is gender modified

It is now high time to discuss the meanings of the terms otherness and particularities, and I will do so by turning to Sarah Ahmed’s (2002) examination of what she sees as a problematic tendency in some feminist and postmodernist work to abstract otherness. This abstraction implies that differences between others dissolve, with the consequence that it will be difficult to examine the historical and social processes that have made some others appear as more other than other others (see Ahmed 2000, 25–37). This also matters for the present discussion of what it means to see the other human being in the face-to-face encounter. On the one hand, Ahmed cautions against this abstracting of otherness. On the other hand, and when relating to Levinas’s face-to-face encounter, she also emphasizes that attendance to the other’s graspable “this-ness”, understood as a set of fixed properties, would be problematic. Contra Levinas, as I read him, she holds that we should locate the face-to-face encounter in time and space and ask what conditions make the face-to-face meeting, here and now, possible. Pro Levinas, she argues that we should not attend to the particularities of the other. She also qualifies this statement: we should not attend to the particularities of the other if by so doing we use particularities as a description of the other. Ahmed’s suggestion is a third route: we should attend to the particular modes of encountering the other. She suggests that this would have the benefit of not reducing the other to the set of properties: to “discuss the particular modes of encounter (rather than particular others) is … to open the encounter up, to fail to grasp it” (Ahmed 2002, 562). This is a fascinating approach that seeks to acknowledge that perception is always situated and that encourages us not to attend, thematically, to the particular features of the other as a set of fixed properties. In her words: To describe, not the other, but the mode of encounter in which I am faced with the other is hence not to hold the other in place, or turn her into a theme, concept of thing. Rather, it is to account for the conditions of possibility of being faced by her [the other] in such a way that she [the other] ceases to be fully present in this very moment of the face-to-face encounter. (ibid.) Ahmed (2002, 561) also states that particularity, in this approach, “does not belong to an other, but names the meetings and encounters which produce or flesh out others, and hence differentiate others from other others.”

 

 

Responsibility must supersede the right to self-survival in order for ethics to be possible – any other approach devalues life.

Levinas 86.

Emmanuel Levinas, Face to Face with Levinas (1986). Pages 23-24 //dtac – This card is gender-modified.

The approach to the face is the most basic mode of responsibility. As such, the face of the other is verticality and uprightness; it spells a relation of rectitude. The face is not in front of me (en face de moi) but above me; it is the other before death, looking through and exposing death. Secondly, the face is the other who asks me not to let him [them] die alone, as if to do so were to become an accomplice in his [their] death. Thus the face says to me: you shall not kill. In the relation to the face I am exposed as a usurper of the place of the other. The celebrated ‘right to existence’ that Spinoza called the conatus essendi and defined as the basic principle of all intelligibility is challenged by the relation to the face. Accordingly, my duty to respond to the other suspends my natural right to self-survival, le droit aitale. My ethical relation of love for the other stems from the fact that the self cannot survive by itself alone, cannot find meaning within its own being-in-the-world, within the ontology of sameness. That is why I prefaced Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence with Pascal's phrase, "'That is my place in the sun: That is how the usurpation of the whole world began." Pascal makes the same point when he declares that "the self is hateful." Pascal's ethical sentiments here go against the ontological privileging of ‘the right to exist.’ To expose myself to the vulnerability of the face is to put my ontological right to existence into question. In ethics, the other's right to exist has primacy over my own, a pri­macy epitomized in the ethical edict: you shall not kill, you shall not jeopardize the life of the other. The ethical rapport with the face is asymmetrical in that it subordinates my existence to the other. This principle recurs in Darwinian biology as the "survival of the fittest" and in psychoanalysis as the natural instinct of the ‘id’ for gratifica­tion, possession, and power - the libido dominandi

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I wrote a Derrida hospitality K on this topic for UTNIF.

Some helpful things to read when writing this k;

of hospitality - Derrida, The End of Human Rights: Critical Thought at the Turn of the Century - Douzinas, and there are a few other secondary sources that better explain Derrida's interpretation of conditional vs. unconditional hospitality.

 

BUT I strongly recommend reading, not skimming, at least some parts of Of Hospitality, to better understand his theory not just cutting cards. Derrida is definitely a dense read, and the secondary documents really help you better understand the advocacy that he has. 

 

All of the lit above would be specific to the K that I think you are trying to run; also Derrida took a lot of influence from Levinas' ethics and his response to 'the other' but he is also heavily by animality. Animality, for Derrida, allows for the animals to have the 'door of openness' as well as the 'open doors of otherness' which is the equivalent to unconditional hospitality (the alt). 

 

Edited by marxistutopiaisclasless

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