Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


Postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy, University of Tabriz, Tabriz. Iran


Foucault and Levinas are one of the most prominent and important thinkers who have put emphasis on the necessity of the fundamental critique of rational subjectivity. This is an approach that according to these two thinkers since the time of Descartes up to this day has suppressed the ethical capability of body in the interest of consciousness. Foucault and Levinas have studied and analyzed the ethical criterion of the embodied subject and in this respect, they have presented the fundamental and creative description of body and ethics. Accordingly, they have deconstructed the link between the subject and the other from a new perspective. Our main question in the paper is that how have Foucault and Levinas delineated the ethical embodied subjectivity on the base of the features of their intellectual system? What are their differences and similarities on the ethical embodied subjectivity?  The main claim of the paper is that although Foucault and Levinas have presented different methods and understandings on being ethical, but both of them emphasize on the necessity of body as the essential condition to reconstruct ethical subjectivity.  Both have provided specific meanings of ethics and have criticized theories of ethical practice and the set of general laws.  They have also emphasized the importance of the ethical capability of language to explain the essential relationship between subject and the other. By raising serious criticisms of the language of rational subjectivism they have given rise to the truth telling and responsive subject. In general, Foucault and Levine’s ethical embodied subject has common ethical, physical, linguistic, aesthetic, and historical aspects.


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