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The Pre-Text of Ethics

On Derrida and Levinas


Diane Moira Duncan

The Pre-Text of Ethics is a very readable introduction to both Derrida and Levinas, focusing on the latter’s influence on deconstruction, especially on the meaning of justice and the notion of the gift. Without deconstructing the beauty of Levinas’s vision, Diane Moira Duncan aims to show that Levinas’s views on women contradict his general project, which aims to defend heteronamy against philosophical narcissism. This book represents an organic overview of the development of Levinas’s thought and situates a critique of his phenomenology of the feminine face and philosophy of woman in this context. It makes a significant contribution to the question of the «ethics of deconstruction».