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Die ethische Bedeutung des Skeptizismus

Stanley Cavell und Emmanuel Lévinas

Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.28937/1000107810
EUR 14,90

The paper undertakes a comparison of the philosophies of Stanley Cavell and Emmanuel L_vinas, focusing on their interpretation of skepticism and the crucial role of the problem of the other or other minds in the works of both. The comparison proceeds in three major steps: first, differences in their respective interpretations of Descartes’ stance on the problem of other minds are discussed. In the second section, Cavell’s examination of the intelligibility of someone else’s pain and L_vinas’ questioning of the sense of suffering are juxtaposed. Finally, the author analyzes their respective treatment of skepticism. This results in the opening of an ethical dimension which grounds the dominating theoretical relationship towards the world and the other human being in epistemology and ontology. The periodical return and irrefutability of skepticism can thus be regarded not only as evidence of the inevitable limitation of knowledge, but as a consequence of the necessarily social or intersubjective structure of subjectivity itself.