Article on Løgstrup, Levinas and Darwall

I am pleased to say that the following article has appeared in print:

‘Levinas, Darwall and Løgstrup on Second-Personal Ethics: Command or Responsibility?’, in Michael L. Morgan (ed),The Oxford Handbook to Levinas (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 303-20

Here is the abstract:

This paper considers the relationship between Levinas’s ethics, and the ‘second-personal’ approach adopted by Stephen Darwall and K. E. Løgstrup. Darwall’s ethics treats the second-personal relation as one of command as an exercise of authority, while K. E. Løgstrup treats the second-personal relation as one of responsibility rather than command. It is argued that Løgstrup raises a fundamental difficulty for any command view, namely that the reason to act on a command is because one has been commanded to do so, where this cannot provide the right reason for a moral action. The paper considers where Levinas should be located in this debate between the two models of second-personal ethics represented by Darwall and Løgstrup. It is suggested that while Levinas’s position reflects elements of both accounts, he is perhaps closer to the command approach, in a way that then makes him vulnerable to Løgstrup’s objections.

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