Ethics After Poststructuralism

A Critical Reader


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About the Book

The present era of economic devastation, legacies of colonization and imperialism, climate change and habitat loss, calls for a new understanding of ethics. These essays on otherness, responsibility and hospitality raise urgent questions. Contributors range from the prominent—including Levinas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben—to recent theorists such as Judith Butler, Enrique Dussell and Rosi Braidotti. The essays emphasize the always vulnerable status of a radically different Other, even as they question what responsibility to that Other might mean.

About the Author(s)

Lee Olsen lectures at the University of Nevada, Reno. His work focuses on post-1950s North American literature, political economics, and trauma theory.
Brendan Johnston lectures at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on 20th Century American literature, modernist poetry, and materialist theory.
Ann Keniston is a professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Lee Olsen, Brendan Johnston and Ann Keniston
Series Editor James M. Okapal

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7687-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3907-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Ethics and Culture

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction (Lee Olsen and Brendan Johnston) 1

Section 1: Hospitality and Responsibility for the Other
Responsibility for the Other (Emmanuel Levinas) 19
From “Hospitality, Justice, and Responsibility: A Dialogue” (Jacques Derrida) 23
Precarious Life (Judith Butler) 37
Is Autonomy Unethical? Trauma and the Politics of Responsibility (Mari Ruti ) 54
Feminist Reflections on Vulnerability: Disrespect, Obligation, Action (Ewa Plonowska Ziarek) 72

Section 2: States of Exception
From “Right of Death and Power over Life” (Michel Foucault) 93
Introduction to Homo Sacer (Giorgio Agamben) 101
Liberal Multiculturalism and the Ethics of Hospitality in the Age of Globalization (Meyda Yegenoglu) 110

Section 3: Decoloniality and Ethics
“Sensibility” and “Otherness” in Emmanuel Levinas (Enrique Dussel) 135
From “Globalization, Organization, and the Ethics of Liberation” (Enrique Dussel with Eduardo ­Ibarra-Colado) 147
On Pluritopic Hermeneutics, ­Trans-modern Thinking, and Decolonial Philosophy (Madina V. Tlostanova and Walter D. Mignolo) 156
From “Levinas’s Hegemonic Identity Politics, Radical Philosophy, and the Unfinished Project of Decolonization” (Nelson ­Maldonado-Torres) 170

Section 4: Posthuman Ethics
From “The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)” (Jacques Derrida) 187
From “Posthuman Ethics and the Becoming Animal of Emmanuel Levinas” (Mary Bunch) 209
From “Articulating Ecological Ethics and Politics” (Mick Smith) 227
Affirmation versus Vulnerability: On Contemporary ­Ethical Debates (Rosi Braidotti) 248

Index 267

Book Reviews & Awards

•“In Ethics after Poststructuralism, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, and other prominent thinkers reflect upon the most urgent ethical questions in continental philosophy, after Heidegger. The editors have done an impressive job of assembling and juxtaposing key texts in order to generate further dialogue and debate. This book offers a readable introduction to poststructural theory. It would also work in the seminar setting.”—Christopher Wise, Western Washington University

•“Ethics after Poststructuralism offers an impressive portrait of the richness of Levinas’s philosophy for thinking about the most important and challenging ethical issues of our time, including multiculturalism, liberalism, feminism, state authority, immigration, decolonialism, posthumanism, and ecology. Ethics after Poststructuralism stands among the most exciting invitations to become ethical, in a Levinasian sense, that I have read. It is destined to become a classic.”—Raoul Moati, The University of Chicago, author of Levinas and the Night of Being