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message 1: by Lia (new)

Lia | 522 comments Mod
For the most part, Levinas situates Aristotle within what he thematizes as the totalizing tradition of Western philosophy. This tradition, which Levinas often simply names “ontology” but which might more appropriately be dubbed “emphatic ontology,” is understood in the following terms: ‘Western philosophy has most often been an ontology: a reduction of the other to the same by interposition of a middle and neutral term that ensures the comprehension of being.’ Although this conception of Western philosophy in general and ontology in particular emerges out of Levinas’s intense critical engagement with Heideggerian thinking, it could just as easily be developed out of a traditional reading of Aristotle’s onto-theology.

The Ethics of Ontology: Rethinking an Aristotelian Legacy


message 2: by Lia (new)

Lia | 522 comments Mod
Aristotle as the archē of the totalizing tradition?

“From this perspective, it would not be hyperbolic to say that Aristotle is the archē of Western philosophy as emphatic ontology. Again, one need look no further than Metaphysics XII to find precisely the neutral term that ensures the comprehension of all being: God as unmoved mover, thought thinking itself. This is the ultimate principle of order in Aristotle, the foundation upon which the entire universe rests. When this idea is maximized and the entirety of Aristotle’s thinking is interpreted in its shadow, then Aristotle emerges clearly as the father of totalizing ontology, one of the earliest and most successful thinkers to reduce all otherness to the hegemony of the Same. It is no accident that Hegel, probing the history of philosophy for a model by which to develop a conception of free subjectivity suited to his own idealism, came to recognize Aristotle’s thematization of God as thought thinking itself as the highest expression of pure subjectivity. While it is perhaps an inexcusable misreading of Hegel to characterize his thinking as dedicated to a reduction of all otherness to the Same—as Levinas himself sometimes seems to suggest—it is nevertheless true that idealism’s preoccupation with the freedom of the subject, its tendency to see a neutral Spirit behind all historical happenings, and its bold presumption that the concepts of the thinking subject are capable of completely comprehending the world are elements of the modern mind-set that may fairly be characterized as totalizing. Given this genealogy, it is possible to trace this tradition of totalizing back to the heart of Aristotle’s Metaphysics”

Source: The Ethics of Ontology
Long, Christopher P.


message 3: by Lia (new)

Lia | 522 comments Mod
Heidegger in “Fundamental Problems of Phenomenology” (1927):
“the possibility of ontology stands or falls with the possibility of crossing over from the ontic consideration of beings to the ontological thematizing of being.”



Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 50 comments Lia wrote: "Heidegger in “Fundamental Problems of Phenomenology” (1927): “the possibility of ontology stands or falls with the possibility of crossing over from the ontic consideration of beings to the ontolo..."

What in the world do you reckon that means?


message 5: by Lia (new)

Lia | 522 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "What in the world do you reckon that means? "

… You picked out fairly accurately all the clever-sounding quotes that I can’t comprehend. How long shall I continue to close my eyes to disloyalty? Whetstone!

(Adapted from from my favorite novel again, in case if it isn’t obvious …)

I shall investigate. Alternatively, I shall move this damnable utterance to the “Translate This!” thread.


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