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Ethics and Selfhood
Alterity and the Phenomenology of Obligation
Ethics and Selfhood
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James R. Mensch - Author
Price: $62.50 
Hardcover - 225 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5751-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5751-1

Quantity:  
Price: $29.95 
Paperback - 225 pages
Release Date: July 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5752-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5752-8

Quantity:  
Price: $29.95 
Electronic - 225 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8669-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Argues that a coherent theory of ethics requires an account of selfhood.

According to James R. Mensch, a minimal requirement for ethics is that of guarding against genocide. In deciding which races are to live and which to die, genocide takes up a standpoint outside of humanity. To guard against this, Mensch argues that we must attain the critical distance required for ethical judgment without assuming a superhuman position. His description of how to attain this distance constitutes a genuinely new reading of the possibility of a phenomenological ethics, one that involves reassessing what it means to be a self. Selfhood, according to Mensch, involves both embodiment and the self-separation brought about by our encounter with others—the very others who provide us with the experiential context needed for moral judgment. Buttressing his position with documented accounts of those who hid Jews during the Holocaust, Mensch shows how the self-separation that occurs in empathy opens the space within which moral judgment can occur and obligation can find its expression. He includes a reading of the major moral philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Arendt, Levinas—even as he develops a phenomenological account of the necessity of reading literature to understand the full extent of ethical responsibility. Mensch's work offers an original and provocative approach to a topic of fundamental importance.

"Mensch breaks through some of the main oppositions in historical and contemporary ethical theory in an original, provocative, and unique way." — John J. Drummond, coeditor of Phenomenological Approaches to Moral Philosophy: A Handbook

"
The development of an ethics rooted in empathy as a mode of embodied mindfulness of the other is an original contribution. The author is very good at using eye-witness reports, as well as literary narrative and biblical texts, to fill out his deft talent for phenomenological description and analysis." — James Hatley, author of Suffering Witness: The Quandary of Responsibility after the Irreparable

James R. Mensch is Professor of Philosophy at Saint Francis Xavier University. He is the author of several books including, After Modernity: Husserlian Reflections on a Philosophical Tradition and Intersubjectivity and Transcendental Idealism, both published by SUNY Press.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Selfhood and Certainty

2. Empathy and Self-Presence

3. The Divided Self: A Phenomenological History of Ethics

4. Rescue and the Origin of Responsibility

5. An Ethics of Framing

6. Freedom and Alterity

7. Alterity and Society

Notes

Bibliography

Name Index

Subject Index



Related Subjects
41642/41643(JFB/DG/)

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