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Le visage, entre accusatif et nominatif : de la phénoménologie à l'herméneutique de la relation

Abstract : The visage, such as Levinas means it, escapes all power, all explanation, all understanding. Out of reach of Husserl’s meaning which Levinas understands as a reduction of the Other to the Same (egology), the visage evades its physical appearance –and becomes a commandment ("You shall not kill"). To that admonition, only an accusative-case subject can answer (Abraham's answer "Here is me"), therefore discarding all relationship. If the visage disappears in its Height, establishing the I as an answer to the accusative-case, the meeting between two visages cannot happen. –The Other is saved because he is not recognized. The price to pay in order to save Otherness is that of relationship. Levinas opens a double problem. An ontological problem first: how can we conceive a subject answering to (and for) others in the nominative case in order to base legitimately the possibility of an inter-subjective relationship? Can we imagine Abraham answering "I am here"? The ontological problem meets another one, a methodological problem: the visage as a phenomenon is a challenge thrown by Levinas to phenomenology – a task he takes on nevertheless. How can one draw the phenomenology of a non-phenomenon? That's where the hermeneutics of the visage starts. If the visage escapes de jure all phenomenological description, it is because of the excess of meaning it stands for, which only hermeneutics can look for and define. Beyond a reductive explanation and an impossible knowledge of the visage, is there room for the acknowledgement of it? The acknowledgement here must be accepted in all its meanings: identification (through the naming the ultimate meaning of which would be revealed, despite Derrida's suspicion, by the acknowledgement-gratitude.Therefore, it would be given to hermeneutics – the "conflict between interpretations," according to Ricœur - the double task of defining an inter-subjective space, open to Otherness and to the subject, a space open to the diversity of all the meanings** (personal, cultural, universal, etc.), on the one hand, and, on the other hand, of looking for the various non-alienating relational modalities, in order to guarantee a meeting between a I and a You that would respect both visages.
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Nathalie Dugravier-Guérin. Le visage, entre accusatif et nominatif : de la phénoménologie à l'herméneutique de la relation. Philosophie. Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux III, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012BOR30081⟩. ⟨tel-00975422⟩

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