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Emmanuel Levinas's Concept of the Feminine and Its Feminist Critics. Edition No. 1
- ID: 1906097
- May 2009
- 104 Pages
- VDM Publishing House
This study provides an unusual perspective on the
concept of “the feminine” in Emmanuel Levinas’s
philosophy and exegesis of the Jewish canon. The
undoubtedly patriarchal attitude to femininity
expressed in these texts is pitched against feminist
criticism of Levinas’s work, which has consistently
been indignant with this attitude, while highly
appreciative of Levinas’s philosophy of the Other.
This contradictory attitude generally resulted in a
failure of ‘dialogue’ with or productive ‘reading’ of
Levinas’s work. While the author is in much the same
position herself, she sets out to find a more
productive way of dealing with Levinas’s work,
attempting to legitimize both of these
incompatible positions regarding femininity. The
author proposes that femininity, or more broadly,
sexual difference, cannot and should not be theorized
from one universal or neutral standpoint – it can
only be discussed dialogically, from dissimilar and
particular positions in which every thinker is
situated. This model is based on the major concepts
of Levinas’s philosophy, such as radical ‘otherness’
of the Other and the notion of language as primarily
an attitude towards the Other.
Olga Kuminova is an adjunct lecturer at the department of Foreign
Literatures and Linguistics at Ben-Gurion University of the
Negev, and head of "The Scribe - Academic Writing Support,"