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Unformatted text preview: Levinas Dartmouth 2K9 1 1AC Contention one: The Saddest Quo Society has a positive obligation to help people in poverty. Current recognition of poverty only motivates inaction. Lingis, prof philosophy PSU, 2005 Alphonso Lingis , Prof. of Philosophy at Penn State University. 2005 Addressing Levinas Ed. Eric Sean Nelson, Antje Kapust, and Kent Still. Northwestern University Press. Pgs. 98-109 In facing me, he not only shows himself to be different from mein the midst of a different situation, envisioning a different future from the momentum of a different pastbut other than me and other than the substantial space and time of the phenomenal world. In his want and need he is other. I do not see his visible and tangible face as the side and contour of his physiological substance, nor do I see it as a sign designating something conceptually grasped: his functional identity I see it as the visible and tangible mark of a lack, a need. For him to face me is to present me, in that phenomenal trace which is his visible and tangible face, with a lack, a need, an absence. By identifying the otherness , and thus the force of contestation, in the poverty and destitution of the other , the nakedness of his face, Levinas disengages an ethical imperative from cultural and ethnic imperatives, from community imperatives. My judge is any stranger. Each one in the nakedness of his face contests me and puts demands on me. The more divested and destitute, the more the ethical imperative imposes imperiously with all its own force. But is this force the force of that poverty and destitution? The recognition of needs and wants, of poverty and destitution, is not simply the recognition of negativities . The presentation of a void , a nothingness of itself can simply motivate our avoiding it , or retreating and recoiling from it. The observation of emptiness and weaknesses is the recognition of possibilities for us to apply our substance and insert our force. The recognition of needs and wants is the perception of beings which are in the course of evolution or achievement. It is not only their needs, but what has been achieved in them that appeal to us and put demands on us . When they greet us and call for our attention, our attention is turned to the force of life in them, which has grown and striven-the force of an individual life. This attention is acknowledgment and concern. We see a life that enjoys living, that finds goodness in living . We find ourselves called upon to let this life be , to respect its space, to let it flourish, to care about it and care for it. We see facing us someone in whom nature has achieved something: we see hale and hearty physical heath and vigor, vibrant sensibility, beauty. We also see someone who has done something with her life, protected and nourished, built, repaired, restored, rescued. We see someone who has cared for a sick relative, maintained a farm, been a devoted teacher, is a loyal friend. We see someone who has not achieved anything materially, but maintained a farm, been a devoted teacher, is a loyal friend....
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