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(2009) Radical passivity, Dordrecht, Springer.

Sincerely me

enjoyment and the truth of hedonism

Joachim Duyndam

pp. 67-78

Responding to Adriaan Peperzak's contribution to this volume, this chapter focuses on enjoyment in Levinas, distinguishing it from asceticism, on the one hand, and addiction, on the other. Whereas asceticism and addiction are conceived as an imbalance of activity-passivity, enjoyment refers to the radical passivity of the self, preceding the opposition of activity and passivity. Enjoyment in Totality and Infinity therefore prefigures sensibility in Otherwise than Being. The radical passivity of enjoyment opens the "inverted' self to the transcendent other. Unlike Peperzak, Duyndam stresses enjoyment as providing the subject with a certain measure of independence from being, which is necessary to meet the other as other. Enjoyment performs my part of what Levinas calls separation, whereas the other realizes his/her part of the separation by transcendence. Therefore, enjoyment does not so much conflict with the other's appeal to me; it is the very condition of my openness to the appeal. This is, as we shall see, what Levinas calls "the permanent truth of hedonism'.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-9347-0_5

Full citation:

Duyndam, J. (2009)., Sincerely me: enjoyment and the truth of hedonism, in B. Hofmeyr (ed.), Radical passivity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 67-78.

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