A Hypothesis on Practical Reason. By Alberto Moreiras.

Kant seems to exhaust practical reason into ethics and politics, whereas for Aristotle practical reason included rhetoric too, from its primary mechanism, phronesis.   Perhaps one could say that there is more to practical reason than ethics and politics, and that beyond the ethico-political relation, which is most definitely the business of phronesis, there is infrapolitics.  Infrapolitics would be a region of practical reason, a phronetic region perhaps, prior, that is, ontologically prior to any ethico-political determination.   Raising the question about its existence is difficult, because the tradition does not seem to give us the resources for it.   Perhaps Levinas would say that infrapolitics does not constitute an ontological region because it is in effect beyond ontology, but that means Levinas would make it part of ethics as first philosophy.   My intuition is that ethics is derivative, however, so that, if there is to be an “otherwise than being,” it would be infrapolitical rather than ethical.  I know these are rather embarrassing claims.  The question is, can they be sustained?  Are they prospectively productive from the point of view of understanding something that has remained occluded?

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