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Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


Durham Online French Research Seminar 2020-2021

21st October 2020, 13:00, via Zoom, Dr Anna Westin (St Mary’s)

In collaboration with the Digital Studies Research Group.

‘When No One Responds: Levinas and the Problem of Isolation in Addiction’

Levinas famously resists normative application of his writings; his ethics is phenomenologically constructed as a meta-relation that is necessary for subjectivity. However, we often find references to everyday situations in his work, which can make us wonder what Levinas might say about particular life experiences. One such example is addiction. Addiction presents a plethora of ethical challenges of agency that analytic philosophy has helped us clarify and critically explore. Yet exactly what it means to live this particular suffering is often overlooked in our attempt to reduce situations to ethical problem solving. Phenomenology asks us to pause and go back to basics. Levinas tells us to turn to our original relation to the other. This relation goes beyond a relation of preconceived constructs and diagnostic labels. Using Levinas’ interpretation of responsibility, alongside his philosophy of revelation, I will suggest that he can reveal how the isolation of addiction can give us new ways of interpreting vulnerability and the unspeakable experiences of the suffering other.

This event is open to non-Durham University participants via registration. Register here and you will be sent a zoom link on the morning of the event.

Registration for this event will close at 5pm, Tuesday 20 October.

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