Without measure : Marion’s apophatic-virtue phenomenology of iconic love.
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I investigate Jean-Luc Marion's phenomenology of love and its relation to ethics. I argue that his phenomenology of love provides a possibility for developing ethics. I rely on the saturated phenomenon of the icon and his phenomenology of love. I establish that the icon provides a rich sense of relation, a need to modify certain appraisals of justice, and provides a descriptive account of the virtue of receptivity. In chapter one, I give an exegesis of Marion's phenomenology of the icon. He argues that the icon moves toward charity, yet does not relate to ethics. Experience of the icon gives transformed vision that voids universal laws and frees the beholder to experience communion. In chapter two, I provide three examples of iconic experience that emphasize the importance of justice for the icon in contrast to Marion's formulation that justice is equivalent to revenge. I argue that Marion attacks justice because of its link to a deontological definition; yet, freed from deontology, Marion makes room for an apophatic way that moves toward a virtue ethic. In chapter three, I look at Marion's reasons for leaving ethics out of the icon. His critique of Kantian ethics, as well as his use and critique of the Levinas suggest that he opposes modern metaphysical ethics. In discussion of the receptivity to the call of the Other, he relies on the virtues. This reliance shows that Marion has room for a descriptive account of ethics, and that ignoring ethics undermines his overall project. I investigate Marion's claim that the icon opens up to charity by reading the apophatic doctrine of the icon in concert with the erotic reduction. I conclude that Marion’s phenomenology can be viewed as a counter-ethics a way to see phenomenology as a virtue practice, to unify reason and love in ethics, to remove the ego from the central concern of ethics, and to see the need for openness and vulnerability to the iconic other.