chapter  10
25 Pages

‘Life and World Are One’. World, Self and Ethics in the Work of Levinas and Wittgenstein

WithAnne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen

This chapter explores the interdependence between the notions of world and self as well as their relation to ethics in the early work of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Emmanuel Levinas. Parallel to the insight of the woman in the example, Wittgenstein is trying to make us aware of how the perspective of the philosophical self is a condition of having and talking about a world. The crucial move in Wittgenstein's undermining of the use of the distinction between realism and antirealism in investigations of ethics is his elucidations of the ethically motivated interdependence between world and self. The Wittgenstein-Levinas view of ethics is important to consider because it breaks with the way ethics is conceptualised in contemporary moral philosophy. The chapter concludes by considering an important difference in the wayWittgenstein and Levin.