Friday, September 28, 2007

Tengelyi endorses Levinas' idea

Tengelyi endorses Levinas' idea that we see in the gestures of other bodies the expression of an alien sense "which proves to be irreducible to any sense bestowal based upon one's own experiences" (p. 110). Is the alien sense, however, reducible to a sense in the making? Perhaps. Tengelyi says that "the relationship between oneself and the other is embedded in the process of the emergence of sense rather than in the process of the unfolding of being" (p. 112). I would have expected at this point for Tengelyi to elaborate on his thinking of singularity. Although he does make a brief nod to the idea of positionality (p. 115), he doesn't develop the idea of singularity that was promised in the preface.
We may conclude that for Tengelyi singularity is not an issue of the unfolding of being. Regarding the relationship between singularity and experience, however, I find it provocative that Tengelyi cannot avoid saying "one's own experience." The association of a sphere of anonymity with the disowned is problematical, because the disowned suggests a prior ownership. There may be a sense in which taking up a positional singularity requires a disowning of experience and the acknowledgement of an alien sense as well as a wild alterity within one's own experience. This is a problem that could be further explored.

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