Wittgenstein and Levinas on the Transcendentality of Ethics

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Appelqvist , H & Pöykkö , P-M 2020 , Wittgenstein and Levinas on the Transcendentality of Ethics . in H Appelqvist (ed.) , Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language . Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy , Routledge , New York , pp. 65-89 .

Title: Wittgenstein and Levinas on the Transcendentality of Ethics
Author: Appelqvist, Hanne; Pöykkö, Panu-Matti
Editor: Appelqvist, Hanne
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
University of Helsinki, Systematic Theology
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 2020
Language: eng
Number of pages: 24
Belongs to series: Wittgenstein and the Limits of Language
Belongs to series: Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy
ISBN: 978-0-8153-8501-1
978-1-351-20267-1
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/330242
Abstract: This article discusses Wittgenstein’s early ethics by comparing it with the ethical thought of Emmanuel Levinas. By treating ethics as transcendental, both Wittgenstein and Levinas are responding to the tension they find between contingent facts of the world and the absolute demand of ethics. We argue that the origin of this tension may be traced back to Kant’s philosophy, specifically to Kant’s division between nature and morality. Instead of grounding the ethical in the world of facts or in a transcendent realm over and above the limits of the world, both Wittgenstein and Levinas resolve the tension by appealing to the idea of a perspective, distinct from the perspective of knowledge, that shows the world as meaningful or purposive in spite of its objective lack of meaning. By spelling out the relevant similarities and differences between Wittgenstein and Levinas, the paper addresses the nature and extent of the Kantianism in Wittgenstein’s early ethics.
Subject: 611 Philosophy
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