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67 Fordham Law Review 2071 (1999)


In this article, the author proposes that those who work in any capacity with impoverished clients and embattled minority communities imagine practice from within Levinas' key images. First, that ethics is first philosophy - that knowledge of the self, the Other and the context in which ethical action is possible does not precede ethical understanding, decision-making and action, but that rather that we become human in the ethical encounter with the incommensurable Other. Second, that representing a client is in each moment an encounter with the face of the Other. We look up into the face of the Other calling to us, looming over us, vulnerable. In this ambivalent moment, we face both the draw of the Other and the temptation to encapsulate, reduce, diminish, totalize the Other, to erase the chasms of incommensurability that threaten our control of our world