Alterity and Transcendence
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Alterity and Transcendence by Emmanuel Levinas
Book DescriptionInternationally renowned as one of the great French philosophers of the twentieth century, the late Emmanuel Levinas remains a pivotal figure across the humanistic disciplines for his insistence -- against the grain of Western philosophical tradition -- on the primacy of ethics in philosophical investigation. This first English translation of a series of twelve essays known as Alterity and Transcendence offers a unique glimpse of Levinas defining his own place in the history of philosophy. Published by a mature thinker between 1967 and 1989, these works exhibit a refreshingly accessible perspective that seasoned admirers and newcomers will appreciate. In today's world, where religious conceptions of exalted higher powers are constantly called into question by theoretical investigation and by the powerful influence of science and technology on our understanding of the universe, has the notion of transcendence been stripped of its significance? In Levinas's incisive model, transcendence is indeed alive -- not in any notion of our relationship to a mysterious, sacred realm but in the idea of our worldly, subjective relationships to others. Without presupposing an intimate knowledge of the history of philosophy, Levinas explores the ways in which Plotinus, Descartes, Husserl, and Heidegger have encountered the question of transcendence. In discourses on the concepts of totality and infinity, he locates his own thinking in the context of pre-Socratic philosophers, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, and Descartes. Always centering his discussions on the idea of interpersonal relations as the basis of transcendence, Levinas reflects on the rights of individuals (and how they are inextricably linked to those of others), the concept of peace, and the dialogic nature of philosophy. Finally, in interviews conducted by Christian Chabanis and Angelo Bianchi, Levinas responds to key questions not directly addressed in his writings. Throughout, Alterity and Transcendence reveals a commitment to ethics as first philosophy -- obliging modern thinkers to investigate not merely the true but the good.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780231116510
(134mm x 211mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Columbia University Press
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publish Date: 15-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Emmanuel Levinas
Outside the Subject, Paperback (November 2008)
Emmanuel Levinas was one of the most important and influential European thinkers of the twentieth century. This book contains essays that explore his project of revising the phenomenological picture of the world in light of our experience of other persons.
Difficult Freedom, Paperback (September 2008)
Topics include ethics, aesthetics, politics, messianism, Judaism and women, and Jewish-Christian relations, as well as the work of Spinoza, Hegel, Heidegger, Franz Rosenzweig, Simone Weil, and Jules Issac.
Humanism of the Other, Paperback (October 2005)
Argues that it is not only possible but of the highest exigency to understand one's humanity through the humanity of others. This book also argues that the humanity of the human is found in the recognition that the other person comes first, that the suffering and mortality of others are the obligations and morality of the self.
Unforeseen History, Hardback (December 2003)» View all books by Emmanuel Levinas
Presents a collection of essays providing an overview of Emmanuel Levians' work. This book covers the years 1929-92, presenting his views on aesthetics and Judaism - offering examples of his precise thinking at work in small essays, long essays, and interviews. The earliest essays in "Unforeseen History" discuss phenomenology.
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Author Biography - Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), a pioneer of the phenomenological method, exerted profound influence on prominent postmodern thinkers including Derrida, Lyotard, Finkielkraut, Irigaray, and Blanchot. Among his seminal works that have been translated into English are Entre Nous (Columbia, 1998), Ethics and Infinity, Totality and Infinity, Time and the Other, and Existence and Existents.Michael B. Smith is professor of French and philosophy at Berry College in Georgia. He has translated several of Levinas's works, including Outside the Subject, In the Time of Nations, and Proper Names, and, with Barbara Harshav, Entre Nous (Columbia, 1998).
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