published on January 6, 2016
Unconditioned by the Other
Agency and Alterity in Kant and Levinas
Much philosophy of the last few decades has witnessed a turn toward otherness and a corresponding calling into question of the autonomy of the agent. In my paper I attempt to re-conceive what agency is in light of this emphasis placed on otherness. I undertake this reconsideration through an analysis of the concepts of unconditionality in Kant and of conditioning by the other in Levinas. Through these analyses I arrive at a new concept: the unconditioning of the agent by the other. I then provide some description of this concept by considering the interpretation of the theological concept of creation in Augustine, Kant, and Levinas.