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Philosophy Today

Volume 64, Issue 3, Summer 2020

Special Topic: Vulnerability

Lucy Benjamin
Pages 671-689

Ethical Inclinations
Relational Ontologies in Cavarero, Benjamin, and Arendt

In this article I take up the image of inclination developed by Adriana Cavarero in her book, Inclinations: A Critique of Rectitude as a mode of developing an account of history informed by an ontology of heterogeneous ethics. Clarifying the potential of inclination contra the Kantian figure of “uprightness,” the principle task of this article is to reimagine the implications of inclination with regard to Walter Benjamin’s theses on history. Ultimately, I show that by pushing at the relationality inherent to an inclined ontology of the self a meaningful exchange can be generated between plural historical temporalities, a move that reveals the inclined figure’s potential to redeem narratives of the historically dispossessed.

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