); idem, "Levinas's Thinking on Religion as beyond the Pathetic: Reflections on the First Part of Difficult Freedom," in: E.L. Fackenheim and R. Jospe (eds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "Emmanuel Levinas," by Bettina Bergo. This is Levinas’s first great work of original philosophy, and his descriptions of the ways in which we are always called to be open to and respect and responsive to the experience of others informs much of my thinking. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Levy, The Other and Responsibility: The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (Heb., 1998); J. Llewelyn, Emmanuel Levinas: The Genealogy of Ethics (1995); S. Malka, Lire Lévinas (1984); idem, Emmanuel Lévinas: la vie et la trace (2002); E. Meir, "The Dimension of the Feminine in Levinas' Philosophy," in: Iyyun – The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 43 (1994), 145–52 (Heb. According to Lyotard, Levinas is the author that was able to give the most radical description of the “hostage,” a subjectivity that is always already constituted from the inside, as an interiority that is however always already exposed. (January 12, 2021). ), In Proximity – Emmanuel Levinas and the Eighteenth Century (2001), 243–59; idem, "Verità e giustizia nella filosofia di Emmanuel Lévinas in relazione all'io-tu e all'io-esso di Martin Buber," in: P. Amodio, G. Giannini, G. Lissa (eds. In his magnificent work “God and Philosophy” Emmanuel Levinas develops a new understanding of transcendence. Levinas was born in Kovno, Lithuania. Specifically, Lévinas says that the human face "orders and ordains" us. In 1939 Levinas was drafted into the French army and was then captured. Husserl's transcendental ego and Heidegger's Dasein were solitary and did not take adequate account of human relations. Emmanuel Levinas . Difficile justice. In addition to his philosophic work, Levinas began publishing articles on Jewish subjects. Levinas' entire philosophical project implies therefore an attack on totality, on totalitarian thinking and history. Encyclopaedia Judaica. In 1934, for instance, he published "Some Reflections on the Philosophy of Hitlerism," criticizing New Germany's primitivism. In the late 1950's and early 1960's, Levinas began to formulate his own philosophy which became increasingly critical of Heidegger's philosophy, and, with his critique of prior phenomenological thinkers and Western philosophy in general, Levinas began to assert the primacy of the ethical relationship with the Other. Encyclopedia.com. The philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas is the result of the influence of the group of the three H (G. W. Hegel, Edmund Husserl, and Martin Heidegger). Dialogue and Difference (2004), 133–56; idem, "Religion and State in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas," A. Ravitzky (ed. 2 Language plays the central role in his philosophy, and in view of its centrality, as well, in a variety of … Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. A masterful series of interviews with Levinas, conducted by French philosopher Philippe Nemo, which provides a succinct presentation of Levinas's philosophy. It means that, ethically, people are responsible to one-another in the face-to-face encounter. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. The Jewish message is one for all humanity. Throughout the body of his work, Levinas contests the dominant modern Western paradigm. For Levinas, the Other is not knowable and cannot be made into an object of the self, as is done by traditional metaphysics (which Levinas called "ontology"). He found the idea of rupturing totality in Franz *Rosenzweig's Star of Redemption (1921) which he read before World War ii, and he admitted to having made extensive use of Rosenzweig's anti-totalitarian thought. "Levinas, Emmanuel It is therefore a reversal of the ontological approach to the subject. One can and in conditions of real life in society inevitably does compromise on the ethical call, but the call remains In Otherwise than Being, Levinas dealt less with the Other than with the subject. Levinas renewed Jewish thinking and by now occupies an eminent place in the pantheon of modern Jewish thinkers such as Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Martin Buber. ), Paradigms in Jewish Philosophy (1997), 257–79; idem, "La philosophie de Lévinas, sacrificielle et naïve? However, the Jewish response to the universal question contained elements beyond humanism, which he regarded as insufficiently human. S'agit-il d'un drame? Ethics as first philosophy. EMMANUEL LEVINAS (1906-1995), philosopher and Talmudic commentator, born in Kaunas, Lithuania, naturalized French in 1930.  It is an interpretive, phenomenological description of the rise and repetition of the face-to-face encounter, or the intersubjec… Perhaps just as importantly, Levi… Permeated with references to the 'stranger', the 'other' and 'exteriority', the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas signifies a positive understanding of exile. C. Vanhove-Romanik (1985); C. Chalier, Lévinas: L'Utopie de l'humain (1993); idem, Pour une morale au-delà du savoir: Kant et Levinas (1998) = What Ought I To Do? Levinas rejects any moral intellectualism. ISBN 978-1-4020-4124-2; Adina Bozga and Attila Szigeti (2006) "A Century with Levinas. A person needs to understand that God does not promise anything or follow one’s magical thinking about God. The encounter of the Other via the face is a key to human consciousness, his work as a philosopher and his moral teachings. Philosophers and theologians all over the world are interested in Levinas' work. Serving as an officer in the French army at the outbreak of World War II, he was captured by German troops in 1940 and spent the next five years in a prisoner-of-war camp. He is exemplary in his extending "hospitality" to strangers. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Lévinas claims that ontology also displays a bias toward cognition and theoretical reason—the use of reason in the formation of judgments or beliefs. When in midlife Levinas steeped himself in Jewish learning, he was both probing the meaning of Jewish identity in the Galut (Hebrew: “Exile”), or Jewish Diaspora, and searching for remedies for the ostensible deficiencies of mainstream Western philosophy, with its orientation toward theoretical reason and absolute certainty. history of science, of philosophy, and of ideas. He did not conceive the subject as a consciousness, but as welcoming the Other, as "responsibility," "exposure," "witness," and as "in proximity." There is an interaction between the Greek "love of wisdom" and the Jewish "wisdom of love." Thus, Levinas makes ethics, respect for others, the first philosophy. By ... almost cliches, they nevertheless frequently are misunderstood. Making Ethical Sense of Useless Suffering with Levinas Emmanuel Levinas, “Ethics as First Philosophy” (), in The Levinas Reader, ed. An introduction by Adriaan … Emmanuel Levinas book. ), Jewish Philosophy and the Academy (1996), 142–64; idem, "War and Peace in the Philosophy of E. Levinas," in: Iyyun –The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly, 45 (1997), 471–79 (Heb. In his major work, Totality and Infinity (1961), he contended that, as it is used in Western philosophy, reason enforces “domination” and “sameness” and destroys plurality and otherness. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. According to Lévinas, ontology by its very nature attempts to create a totality in which what is different and “other” is necessarily reduced to sameness and identity. His philosophy places him amongst the most profound thinkers. J. Todd (2002); F. Ciaramelli, Transcendance et éthique: essai sur Levinas (1989); D. Cohen-Lévinas and S. Trigano (eds. He resists totalization in keeping the tension between the Saying and a said that bears the traces of the Saying. The human face in Emmanuel Levinas. Cristian Ciocan & Georges Hansel (2005) Levinas Concordance. He is Distinguished Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he has worked since 2000. Emmanuel Levinas is one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century , but the complexity of his thought, as well as Heidegger’s, prevents a real spread / democratization of his work. Morality in Kant and Levinas, trans. He asks: “What kind of strange magician did you project as the inhabitant of your heaven.” Only an empty heaven allows one to take on the responsibilities of justice in this world. Emmanuel Levinas was a French philosopher born in 1906 who died in Paris in 1995. Encyclopedias almanacs transcripts and maps. COHEN, HERMANN Emmanuel Levinas (1906–1996) has exerted a profound influence on 20th-century continental philosophy. During the 1928–29 academic year he went to nearby Freiburg, Germany, where he studied under Edmund *Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1969. Originally from Lithuania, he is one of the most famous representatives of continental philosophy. He conceived Heidegger's ontology as crucial, but also as problematic. The principal theme of Lévinas’s work after World War II is the traditional place of ontology as “first philosophy”—the most fundamental philosophical discipline. 1995) was a French-Jewish thinker known primarily as the philosopher of the ‘other.’ He studied with Husserl and Heidegger in the 1920s. There his fellow…, Levine, Bernard Robert 1947- (Levi Brunel, Robert K. Thomas), Levine, George 1931- (George Lewis Levine), https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/levinas-emmanuel, Bergson, Henri (18 October 1859 - 4 January 1941). Levinas exhorts his reader to have a mature faith and get rid of one’s primitive and childish views of God. In working toward an understanding of "ethics as first philosophy," it will do to examine Husserl and Heidegger, since their … Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Lévinas’s other major philosophical works are De l’existence à l’existant (1947; Existence and Existents), En découvrant l’existence avec Husserl et Heidegger (1949; Discovering Existence with Husserl and Heidegger), and Autrement qu’être; ou, au-delà de l’essence (1974; Otherwise than Being; or, Beyond Essence). It calls the subject into "giving and serving" the Other. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Abi Doukhan argues that Levinas's philosophy can be understood as a comprehensive … ." The relationship is not reciprocal as in Martin *Buber, it is asymmetrical. Emmanuel Levinas was among the most prominent European Jewish intellectuals in the second half of the 20th century. To understand his work is also to enter suddenly in the fundamental debates of our time. He was mainly concerned with the question of how to talk about the Other in the language of the Same. Levinas played a pioneer role in the dissemination of phenomenology in France. Figures of Estrangement (1997); M.A. Emmanuel Levinas was born in Lithuania in Kovno (1906-95) to a family who formed an integral part of Kovno’s important Jewish community where he received his education in Hebrew and Russian. The renowned French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre indicates that he came to phenomenology through Emmanuel Levinas. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Retrieved January 12, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/levinas-emmanuel. Brunschvicg, Léon However, he became more and more dissatisfied with the thought of his teachers. Levinas claimed, in 1961, that he was developing a first philosophy. This anthology, including Levinas's key philosophical texts over a period of more than forty years, provides an ideal introduction to his thought and offers insights into his most innovative ideas. He now attempted to leave out the language of ontology and writes about "an-archy," "hostage," "obsession," "persecution," and "substitution." Although he became increasingly critical of the philosophies of his teachers, he continued to use the phenomenological method in his own philosophic work. ROSENZWEIG, FRANZ Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The first great critical reaction to Totality and Infinity came from Jacques *Derrida. First, he exercised a formative influence upon an entir…, Rosenzweig, Franz Our century has seen the man’s face disappear behind the multiplicity of determinations (biological, social and linguistic) that science has revealed: the death of the man announced by Foucault. When compared with the great attention that was paid to the philosophical part of his oeuvre, the Jewish part of Levinas' writings has been largely neglected in scholarly research, although there is undeniably a strong interaction between the two parts of the diptych, with terms and themes appearing in both kinds of writings. ), Religion and State in Twentieth-Century Jewish Thought (2005), 409–24 (Heb. However, the Jewish response to the universal question contained elements beyond humanism, which he regarded as insufficiently human. Levinas: philosophy of the other published 5–12-2012 ... Emmanuel Levinas turns it around: the ethical call for benevolence is primary, precedes the self and all consideration of self-interest, and protection of one’s interests is a compromise on that. However, the date of retrieval is often important. After detention in France, he was deported to a pow camp near Hanover, Germany, which bore the infamous number "1492." In this respect ontology is philosophically inferior to ethics, a field that Lévinas construes as encompassing all the practical dealings of human beings with each other. . Levinas thought that humanism of the other person and Judaism were compatible, and he considered being Jewish a form of being human. In 1930, Levinas received French citizenship. This desire for totality, according to Lévinas, is a basic manifestation of “instrumental” reason—the use of reason as an instrument for determining the best or most efficient means to achieve a given end. Time and the Other and Existence and Existents, which appeared both in 1947, are books that already contain themes like "il y a" (the anonymous and threatening "there is"), sexual relation, paternity, and fecundity that appear in Levinas' greater works, in which he criticized both his teachers, who subsumed the Other under the Same. Author Information: EMMANUEL LEVINAS, a major voice in twentieth century philosophical thought, died in late 1995. In 1923 Levinas moved to France, where he studied in Strasbourg under people like Maurice Pradines, Henri Carteron, Maurice Halbwachs, and Charles Blondel. ), The Path of the Spirit. 1 In spite of such a distinguished recommendation, Levinas’ thought has been little known, and his intriguing philosophy of language offers a major entrée to his position. He developed an early interest in Husserl’s … ), The Provocation of Levinas: Rethinking the Other (1988); R. Burggraeve, From Self-Development to Solidarity: An Ethical Reading of Human Desire in its Socio-Political Relevance According to Emmanuel Levinas, transl. Levinas strongly felt the need to leave the "climate" of Heidegger's philosophy, in which the encounter with other human beings was neglected, since Heidegger concentrated upon modes of Being rather than on the intersubjective world. He also co-translated Husserl's Cartesian Meditations. 12 Jan. 2021 . Already in his early publication De l'évasion (1935), Levinas looked for what exceeds the Being, maintaining that the relation of man to Being is not only ontology. Springer-Verlag, 951pp. Ouaknin, Méditations érotiques, Essai sur Emmanuel Lévinas (Collection Métaphora; 1991); idem, Concerto pour quatre consonnes sans voyelles. Levinas's philosophy has been called ethics. Parallel to his "professional" (i.e., philosophic) writings, Levinas also published a vast body of "confessional" writings that treat Judaism, religious themes, and Talmud. ), Emmanuel Lévinas – Philosophie et judaïsme (Pardès, 26; 1999) 101–4; R.A. Cohen (ed. In contrast to these teachings, Levinas searches not for totality, but for what ruptures "totality," for what he calls "infinity," "alterity," "discourse," "transcendence," and "exteriority.". Only a heaven empty of … He spent the academic year 1928–29 at the University of Freiburg, where he attended seminars by Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) and Heidegger. During the late 1940s Levinas studied the Talmud in Paris with the enigmatic figure Monsieur Chouchani (a pseudonym), about whom very little is known. Encyclopaedia Judaica. Description. 6 (2002), 111–33 (Heb. Though he had not yet begun the engagement with traditional Jewish texts that would mark his post-War work, he read Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption, along with Protestant theological sources. Emmanuel Levinas (1906–95) studied philosophy at Strasbourg University in France. ); idem, "La presenza biblica nella cultura ebraica contemporanea: M. Buber – F. Rosenzweig – E. Levinas," in: S.J. In the 1930s he met Paul Ricoeur and also attended Saturday night gatherings in the house of Gabriel Marcel, where he became acquainted with Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Maritain. 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