The Subject of Freedom: Kant, Levinas (Commonalities)

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9780823265145: The Subject of Freedom: Kant, Levinas (Commonalities)

Is freedom our most essential belonging, the intimate source of self-mastery, an inalienable right? Or is it something foreign, an other that constitutes subjectivity, a challenge to our notion of autonomy? To Basterra, the subjectivity we call free embodies a relationship with an irreducible otherness that at once exceeds it and animates its core.

Tracing Kant’s concept of freedom from the Critique of Pure Reason to his practical works, Basterra elaborates his most revolutionary insights by setting them in dialogue with Levinas’s Otherwise than Being. Levinas’s text, she argues, offers a deep critique of Kant that follows the impulse of his thinking to its most promising consequences. The complex concepts of freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity that emerge from this dialogue have the potential to energize today’s ethical and political thinking.

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About the Author:

Gabriela Basterra is Associate Professor of Comparative and Spanish Literature at New York University. She is the author of Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics.

Review:

Basterra's The Subject of Freedom is a beautifully written and ambitious text that probes the implicit ways that what is unconditioned drives the ethical philosophies of both Kant and Levinas. She thinks these two philosophers with and against one another, finding that the point of contact is a point of excess. Her work moves deftly between a reconstruction of their arguments through precise textual analysis and an imaginative juxtaposition that shows that they are each responding to a demand that is radically exterior to their own subjective perspective. This is a brilliant and novel text that allows us to think the philosopher of reason together with the philosopher of relationality and to consider the ethical and political implications of their encounter. This belated and vital encounter is, indeed, a rich one. (―Judith Butler University California, Berkeley)

“In this important book, Gabriela Basterra reconceives Kant’s conception of practical freedom. On her interpretation, consciousness of the moral law doesn’t simply disclose the subject’s freedom. On a more fundamental level, it constitutes it. Taking Kant at his word when he represents the categorical imperative as a ‘fact of reason,’ Basterra argues that the demand for rational autonomy is a special type of heteronomy. Responsibility turns out to be less a matter of normative bootstrapping than of ‘substitution’ in Levinas’s sense of finding oneself obliged by another. This fascinating interpretation completely changes our conception of what it means, for Kant, to orient oneself in the world.” (―Andrew Cutrofello Loyola University Chicago)

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is freedom our most essential belonging, the intimate source of self-mastery, an inalienable right? Or is it something foreign, an other that constitutes subjectivity, a challenge to our notion of autonomy? To Basterra, the subjectivity we call free embodies a relationship with an irreducible otherness that at once exceeds it and animates its core. Tracing Kant s concept of freedom from the Critique of Pure Reason to his practical works, Basterra elaborates his most revolutionary insights by setting them in dialogue with Levinas s Otherwise than Being. Levinas s text, she argues, offers a deep critique of Kant that follows the impulse of his thinking to its most promising consequences. The complex concepts of freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity that emerge from this dialogue have the potential to energize today s ethical and political thinking. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823265145

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Is freedom our most essential belonging, the intimate source of self-mastery, an inalienable right? Or is it something foreign, an other that constitutes subjectivity, a challenge to our notion of autonomy? To Basterra, the subjectivity we call free embodies a relationship with an irreducible otherness that at once exceeds it and animates its core. Tracing Kant s concept of freedom from the Critique of Pure Reason to his practical works, Basterra elaborates his most revolutionary insights by setting them in dialogue with Levinas s Otherwise than Being. Levinas s text, she argues, offers a deep critique of Kant that follows the impulse of his thinking to its most promising consequences. The complex concepts of freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity that emerge from this dialogue have the potential to energize today s ethical and political thinking. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823265145

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Is freedom our most essential belonging, the intimate source of self-mastery, an inalienable right? Or is it something foreign, an other that constitutes subjectivity, a challenge to our notion of autonomy? To Basterra, the subjectivity we call free embodies a relationship with an irreducible otherness that at once exceeds it and animates its core. Tracing Kant s concept of freedom from the Critique of Pure Reason to his practical works, Basterra elaborates his most revolutionary insights by setting them in dialogue with Levinas s Otherwise than Being. Levinas s text, she argues, offers a deep critique of Kant that follows the impulse of his thinking to its most promising consequences. The complex concepts of freedom, autonomy, and subjectivity that emerge from this dialogue have the potential to energize today s ethical and political thinking. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9780823265145

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