The Intensive Other: Deleuze and Levinas on the Ethical Status of the Other

David Ventura

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This paper develops a response to the ethical conception of the human Other formulated by Gilles Deleuze in his review of Michel Tournier’s 1967 novel Friday. The central contention here is that although Deleuze develops a compelling notion of intensive ethics in response to Tournier’s novel, that ethics also remains deeply problematic in refusing to ascribe a positive role to the human Other. My wager is that some of these problems can be brought to light by placing Deleuze’s philosophy in dialogue with that of Emmanuel Levinas. As I seek to show, Levinas’s philosophy of alterity not only reveals that Deleuze is mistaken in failing to ascribe a positive ethical role to the human Other, but also begins to point the way toward a more positive conception of ethics that does not oppose the Other to the intensive realm that Deleuze so much values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-350
Number of pages24
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2020

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