On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics

On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethics and Politics

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This book takes as its point of departure the question of ethics: that values and their pursuit in the West often perpetuate their own worst enemies. At issue are the dangers in the structures and movements of images, values, and ways of knowing that are most intimately a part of our lives. Charles E. Scott engages the thought of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Levinas. Nietzsche's and Foucault's genealogical approaches confront Heidegger's deconstructive thought and the religious thought of Levinas. In this encounter, a way of thinking emerges that makes evident the advantages of the nonethical and the nonpolitical for ethical and political life.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 156.5 x 235 x 17.3mm | 408.07g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253210763
  • 9780253210760

About Charles E. Scott

CHARLES E. SCOTT holds The Edwin Erle Sparks Chair in Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. His publications include The Question of Ethics, The Language of Difference, and Boundaries in Mind: A Study of Immediate Awareness Based in Psychotherapy.show more

Review quote

Scott (Pennsylvania State Univ.), a leading author in the field of American Continental philosophy, writes from a vantage point beyond ethics, though the essence of beyond here is neither hostile to ethics nor standing above the ethical domain. He claims that Nietzsche and such contemporary philosophers as Heidegger, Levinas, Foucault, and Derrida argue persuasively that we no longer can think and justify our acts within the traditional framework of transcendence. Nevertheless, this does not imply an absence of ethics or renunciation of the legitimacy of ethical concerns. In fact Scott celebrates this apparent loss of transcendence as what frees ethics from its excess. This remarkable account of the impact of postmodern philosophy on the question of ethics and politics is particularly insightful in discussing the genealogical approach to practical philosophy that characterizes the work of Nietzsche and Foucault. The work is commendable also for its balanced view of Heidegger's relationship to politics and ethics. Scott offers an excellent account of Heidegger's philosophical understanding of technology, seeing evidence there of both of a lingering moral asceticism and a mode of temporally rooted questioning that overcomes ethical subjectivity and its notion of responsibility. Upper--division undergraduate; graduate; faculty.W. A. Brogan, Villanova University, 1997oct CHOICE. Scott (Pennsylvania State Univ.), a leading author in the field of American Continental philosophy, writes from a vantage point beyond ethics, though the essence of beyond here is neither hostile to ethics nor standing above the ethical domain. He claims that Nietzsche and such contemporary philosophers as Heidegger, Levinas, Foucault, and Derrida argue persuasively that we no longer can think and justify our acts within the traditional framework of transcendence. Nevertheless, this does not imply an absence of ethics or renunciation of the legitimacy of ethical concerns. In fact Scott celebrates this apparent loss of transcendence as what frees ethics from its excess. This remarkable account of the impact of postmodern philosophy on the question of ethics and politics is particularly insightful in discussing the genealogical approach to practical philosophy that characterizes the work of Nietzsche and Foucault. The work is commendable also for its balanced view of Heidegger's relationship to politics and ethics. Scott offers an excellent account of Heidegger's philosophical understanding of technology, seeing evidence there of both of a lingering moral asceticism and a mode of temporally rooted questioning that overcomes ethical subjectivity and its notion of responsibility. Upper division undergraduate; graduate; faculty.W. A. Brogan, Villanova University, 1997oct CHOICE."show more

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Selected Works Cited Introduction: Crossing the Ethical by otheO Nonethical 1. Nonbelonging/Authenticity 2. Language in a Passing Sense of Transcendence 3. Ethics in a Passing Sense of Transcendence 4. A (Non-) Passing Sense of Tragedy 5. Thinking Noninterpretively 6. The Ascetic Ideal: Nietzsche contra Heidegger 7. Transition: oWhat Is Paris Doing to US?O 8. Self-Fragmentation: The Danger to Ethics 9. oNot to Be Trapped by Abuse...O: Genealogy and a ChildOs Pain 10. Responsibility and Danger 11. A PeoplesO Witness beyond Politics 12. Democratic Space 13. On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Politics for Life Notes Indexshow more

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