E. Levinas: o bliskości, która oddala
LEVINAS: PROXIMITY WHICH BRINGS DISTANCE
Languages of publication
The article undertakes a critical reflection on the notion of proximity, which is one of the basic categories of Levinas’s philosophy of the Other. This notion is present in the work of Levinas at all stages of its development. In a way, it is a meta-category that takes on various functions, but is always used to emphasize the impossibility of achieving a permanent closeness with another. Proximity first occurs as a significant moment in the very genesis of the subject in the movement of hypostasis, then it becomes the hedonic closeness of the subject to himself in the act of delight (jouissance), but in the next step it takes the form of home proximity, which paradoxically leads to the separation of the subject. But this formation process of the egotistical subject is a preparatory phase needed to achieve ethical maturity through the encounter with the face of the Other. As it turns out, this encounter also has the structure of achieving both proximity and distance. Proximity is a necessary stage of transcending, and it reaches the very height of paradox: the face is physically close, and at the same time unattainable metaphysically. The Other, represented by another human being, is within the reach of your hand as a concrete person, but is, at the same time, infinitely distant and unknown as an absolute. The aporias of proximity are not, however, an element of Levinas’s method, such as the use of hyperbole or contradiction. He eliminates proximity as impossible, though its descriptions testify to the fact that he had knowledge of radical closeness and used the notion of proximity in the sense of a fulfilled community with another. In my interpretation, Levinas’s thinking is burdened by the trauma of loss of his loved ones, who cannot be brought back and therefore become the hidden object of metaphysical desire.
Publication order reference