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By Emmanuel Levinas

ISBN-10: 0231116519

ISBN-13: 9780231116510

Across the world popular as one of many nice French philosophers of the 20th century, the overdue Emmanuel Levinas continues to be a pivotal determine around the humanistic disciplines for his insistence -- opposed to the grain of Western philosophical culture -- at the primacy of ethics in philosophical research. this primary English translation of a chain of twelve essays often called Alterity and Transcendence bargains a special glimpse of Levinas defining his personal position within the historical past of philosophy. released via a mature philosopher among 1967 and 1989, those works express a refreshingly obtainable point of view that pro admirers and beginners will appreciate.In ultra-modern global, the place spiritual conceptions of exalted better powers are always referred to as into query by means of theoretical research and by means of the robust impact of technology and expertise on our realizing of the universe, has the inspiration of transcendence been stripped of its value? In Levinas's incisive version, transcendence is certainly alive -- no longer in any idea of our dating to a mysterious, sacred realm yet within the suggestion of our worldly, subjective relationships to others.Without presupposing an intimate wisdom of the background of philosophy, Levinas explores the ways that Plotinus, Descartes, Husserl, and Heidegger have encountered the query of transcendence. In discourses at the thoughts of totality and infinity, he locates his personal considering within the context of pre-Socratic philosophers, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, and Descartes. regularly centering his discussions at the suggestion of interpersonal family members because the foundation of transcendence, Levinas displays at the rights of people (and how they're inextricably associated with these of others), the idea that of peace, and the dialogic nature of philosophy. ultimately, in interviews performed by way of Christian Chabanis and Angelo Bianchi, Levinas responds to key questions indirectly addressed in his writings. all through, Alterity and Transcendence unearths a dedication to ethics as first philosophy -- obliging smooth thinkers to enquire now not in simple terms the real however the solid.

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Kant's critique of the idea of totality destabilized, bqt did not put in question, the potential of rationality for which a totalized universe seems to have the mission, and that was already able to prompt the preSocratics to formulate their wisdom by declaring that all is this or that all is that: water, fire or earth. ,I Philosophy has borrowed the notion of the infinite correlative to that of the finite - from reflection on the exercise of knowledge, on one hand; from religious experience or tradition, ·o n the other.

God 68 69 // Alterity and Transcendence / surpassing: knowledge would thus be only knowledge of knowledge, and consciousness only self-consciousness, thought only thought of thought, or Spirit. Nothing would any longer be other: nothing would limit the thought of thought. The thought of thought is the infinite. But the surpassing of the given knowable - which Hegel calls negativity - is a process of determination. Its result is the concept. Hegel showed, precisely, that negativity is a determination and that determination is not completed with the limit of the defined and with exclusion: that it is totalization absorbing the other; or, concretely, the efficacious action of Reason in history.

A return to the island. The exodus from that limitation of the I to- itself, which is revealed in a whole series of reflections of contemporary philosophy on the meeting with the Other- from Feuerbach and 56 Infinity Kierkegaard to Buber and Gabriel Marcel worthy of the adjective infi nite. 1s also I THE PROBLEMS OF THE INFINITE Knowledge . [Ia connaissance], the manifestation of what is, of beings, to a conscious being, means as much representation of the data (individual or universal, intuition and understanding) as it does a going beyond the data .

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Alterity and Transcendence by Emmanuel Levinas

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