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Mădălina Guzun – Translation as an Ethical Relationship between Ethics and Politics. An Interpretive Reading of Emmanuel Levinas (Religions, 2019)

The otherness of the other, considered as foreignness, is deeply intertwined with the problem of translation and with the one of morality. How can the two of them be brought together based on the work of Emmanuel Levinas? The main question which leads my analysis is the following: does morality limit itself to the relationship with another person or does it concern society in its entirety? In the thought of Levinas, ethics is placed on the side of the dual relationship with the other, while the presence of the third institutes the realm of politics. At first glance, the two dimensions contradict each other, for the first one is characterized by infinity, overabundance, and love, while the second one comports a dimension of finitude, measure, symmetry, and justice. Yet these two domains always exist contemporaneously, each of them needing the limitation brought by its counterpart. How is their relationship to be thought? I will argue that the answer can be found within the domain of translation, understood as an essential asymmetry that is both harmonic and disruptive.