|Journal or Proceedings Title||The UnAustralia Papers|
|Number of Pages||10|
|Web Address (URL) of Paper||http://www.unaustralia.com/electronicpdf/Unjohnson.pdf|
|Conference/Event||Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Annual Conference (CSAA 2006)|
Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Annual Conference (CSAA 2006)
06 to end of 08 Dec 2006
To say that the phrase ‘X is unaustralian’ is an unethical statement would seem to be stating the obvious. Yet we must delve beyond the obvious nature of this observation by examining whether an ethical framework could indeed accommodate this phrase. With reference to the work of Emmanuel Levinas and others, this paper will argue in the first instance that the epithet ‘unaustralian’ is indeed an unethical attribution since it denies the subject of the phrase any possibility of entering into a responsive relation with the speaker. In the second instance, however, I will go further to argue that not only is this an unethical statement, ‘X is unaustralian’ is in fact no kind of statement at all: it is an unstatement. Levinas’s distinction between the time of the Saying and the time of the Said enables us to show that the phrase ‘X is unaustralian’ forecloses on the possibility of respondence by consigning the subject of the statement to the category of the Said, but the word ‘unaustralian’ remains sufficient only so long as it renders its universe of possible meanings concealed: its plenitude inheres in that which must be left unsaid. In a Levinasian sense, then, the word ‘unaustralian’ will always be untimely, belonging neither to the time of the Saying nor to the time of the Said, and relegates its speaker to a space outside any possible ethical relation but also, I suggest, to the realm of the unintelligible: the unstated.
|Keywords||unaustralian, language, Levinas, Australia, Australian, discourse, rhetoric, ethics, politics|
|ANZSRC Field of Research 2020||470207. Cultural theory|
|500306. Ethical theory|
|500314. Philosophy of language|
No evidence of copyright restrictions.
|Byline Affiliations||School of Humanities and Communication|
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