Raoul Moati received his PhD from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he taught for several years. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy of the University of Chicago. He is also a Member of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, a Member of The Emmanuel Levinas Center (Université Paris-Sorbonne), and an Associate Member of the Husserl Archives (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris). Raoul Moati works and teaches principally in Phenomenology, Existentialism, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Language and Metaphysics. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Les Oeuvres complètes (Complete Works) of Emmanuel Levinas published by Grasset (Paris).
His work primarily deals with the philosophical conflict between Deconstruction and Ordinary Language Philosophy. His first book (Derrida/Searle, deconstruction et language ordinaire (Paris, PUF, 2009; New-York, Columbia University Press, 2014) focuses on Derrida's and Searle's controversy about Austin. A systematic work on Derrida and the Ordinary Language (Derrida et le langage ordinaire) has been published in 2014.
One of the most important aspects of Moati's work consists in the attempt to challenge the continental claim of the so-called "End of Metaphysics." For Moati this deconstructive claim is based on a disputable understanding of the concept of Metaphysics. Moati tries to problematize this question in his latest book, which consists in a very close reading of Levinas's masterpiece Totality and Infinity (Evénements Nocturnes, Essai sur Totalité et Infini). An English version of this book has been published by Fordham University Press (in the Perspectives in Continental Philosophy series). Recently, a colloquium about Moati's work has been organized by the University of Namur (Belgium).
Books (French and English):
Derrida/Searle, déconstruction et langage ordinaire (Paris, PUF, Philosophies, 2009), 153 pp.
Zizek, Marxisme et psychanalyse, with Ronan de Calan (Paris, PUF, Philosophies, 2012), 153 pp.
Evénements Nocturnes, Essai sur Totalité et Infini, Préface de Jocelyn Benoist (Paris, Hermann, Le Bel Aujourd’hui, 2012), 380 pp.
Derrida/Searle, Deconstruction and Ordinary Language, foreword Jean-Michel Rabaté (New-York, Columbia University Press, 2014), 165 pp.
Derrida et le langage ordinaire (Paris, Hermann, Le Bel Aujourd’hui, 2014), 460 pp.
The Night of Being: A Guide to Levinas’s Totality and Infinity, New-York, Fordham University Press, 2016. 210p.
Sartre et le mystère en pleine lumière, Paris, Cerf, 2019.
Autour de S. Zizek, Psychanalyse, Marxisme, Idéalisme Allemand (Paris, PUF, Actuel Marx, 2010), 290 pp.
Du Bruit et du sensible: La pensée de J. Benoist, with D. Cohen-Levinas (Paris, Hermann, forthcoming, 2019)
"Deformalization and Phenomenology in Levinas’s Totality and Infinity," in D. de Santis, ed., Handbook to Phenomenology (Routledge, forthcoming, 2019)
"Non Being-Thrown," forthcoming in S. Hammerschlag, ed., Levinas, The Unpublished Work (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019), 15 p.
PHIL 23205 Introduction to Phenomenology
This course will be devoted to the exploration of one of the most important philosophical movements of the Twentieth Century: Phenomenology. Our exploration will take as guideline the following question that we will have to clarify and to answer during the quarter: is there a trans-phenomenality of being? We will see that Husserl and Heidegger's answer to that question is negative whereas Sartre's answer is positive. The orientation of the quarter will be defined by the attempt to defend Sartre's position concerning this philosophical issue and to raise then a second question entailed by our answer to the first: does the discovery of the trans-phenomenality of being imply to give up the phenomenological method coming from Husserl and Heidegger or to redefine it?
PHIL 24400 Heidegger's Being and Time Division I
We propose a cursive reading of the section I of the masterpiece of Heidegger Being and Time looking for the very connection, as our very leading question, between the idea of being in general and the discovery of the being of human being named by Heidegger - Dasein.
PHIL 50106 Sartre and Philosophy of Mind
It's been ten years that a growing interest for Phenomenology is manifest in the field of the contemporary philosophy of mind, especially amongst others phenomenologists, for Sartre. We will try to discuss most of the contemporary approaches of Sartre and try to understand what could be an actual and sustainable sartrean position today in the debates turning around the notion of self-consciousness.
PHIL 28501 French Existentialism
Right after WWII a new way of living emerges in France: Existentialism. Existentialism becomes the name for the feeling of the Freedom recovered after France occupation by Germany. But more than a simple revolution in customs it lies on a new metaphysics of the human experience. This new metaphysics of Human's finitude is popularized by Sartre's manifesto: "Existentialism is a Humanism". The main goal of this course will be to introduce students to French Existentialism in taking as a center of our investigation Sartre's philosophy. We will try to clarify its main origins and concepts in insisting first on the meaning of the philosophical conflict between Christian Existentialism (inspired by Kierkegaard) and Atheist Existentialism (inspired by Feuerbach and Kojeve). We will also insist on the importance of Heidegger for the formation of the French Existentialism. Once this background clarified we will focus on Sartre's philosophy and on Sartre's relations to literature throughout Sartre's art of portraying from an existentialist point of view and methodology, some major French writers like Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Genet and Flaubert. These investigations will give us a privileged key in order to make sense of the Existentialism fundamental claim following which Human life must be understood as an existential engagement towards the Impossible goal of being God. From an existentialist point of view as a matter of fact: God is no longer the principle of existence (as it is in Classical Metaphysics and Theology) but the Goal that finite existence tries to embody in vain.
Open to students who have been admitted to the Paris Humanities Program. This course will be taught at the Paris Humanities Program.
PHIL 20109/30109 Sartre's Being and Nothingness
We propose here a cursive reading of Sartre's masterpiece of 1943, explaining the whole project of Sartre's phenomenological ontology. For that we will focus on his polemical relation to German Idealism (mostly Hegel) and to German Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) in order to clarify the meaning of notions that Sartre inherits from these two traditions like in-itself, for-itself, intentionality, existence, selfhood, pre-reflexive consciousness, negativity, nothingness etc. (B)
Prior knowledge on Descartes, Spinoza, German Idealism, Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) and knowledge in French are highly recommended to attend this class.
PHIL 23205 Introduction to Phenomenology
The aim of this course is to introduce students to one of the most important and influential traditions in the European Philosophy of the 20th Century: Phenomenology. The main task of this course will be to present Phenomenology's main concepts and the meaning of Phenomenology's transformations from Husserl to Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas and Henry.
The fundamental credo of Phenomenology consists in the emphasis laid upon phenomena given to consciousness. This emphasis coincides with the "return to things in themselves" as formulated by Husserl. What can this kind of return actually mean? And what does this claim suggest about philosophical practices prior to phenomenology, idealism or empiricism? In what way, for Husserl, was classical philosophy not able to give access to things such as they are truly given? And what is the meaning of such idea of « givenness ». Does Phenomenology fall into the so-called «myth of the Given». No future phenomenologists after Husserl will question the fundamental idea of returning to things in themselves thanks to the phenomenological importance given to phenomena, but they will question the privilege of intentional consciousness postulated by Husserl - Heidegger will expand phenomenology to the ancient question of "Being" (thanks to the existential clarification of the Husserlian concept of Intentionality) and Levinas will question Husserl's and Heidegger's approaches of phenomenology - intentional and existential - as falling into the Western problem of Ontology and Totality against Otherness and Ethics. As we will see, even if Phenomenology coincides with the philosophical description of our "Openness to Exteriority", this openness - Intentional, Existential or Ethical - entails necessarily not the abandonment, but a radical redefinition of the concept of Subjective Immanence."
PHIL 50108 The Passion of Being - On Sartre
This course will be devoted to the reading of texts of Sartre. Our exploration will elucidate what Sartre names "Existential Psychoanalysis". In order to have an understanding of what is at stake under this concept, we will first explore its role in the economy of Sartre's ontology (Being and Nothingness and Question of Method). In a second step, we will try to explore the several ways in which Sartre is going to put into practice the main principles of his psychoanalytical method, through the readings of his essays on Literature, on Baudelaire, Genet, Flaubert and others.