Claire Elise Katz and Lara Trout (eds.)'s Emmanuel Levinas Critical Assessments Vol. IV PDF

By Claire Elise Katz and Lara Trout (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0415310547

ISBN-13: 9780415310543

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Levinas participated in a brief discussion o f this passage in a conference held in 1959. ” La conscience juive, Vendôme: Presses Universitaires de France, 1963, p. 114. It is precisely his desire to universalize while at the same time bypassing the question o f ethnic difference that is under scrutiny in this essay. 5 For a discussion by another o f the participants in the radio interview that con­ tributes to an understanding of the issues it raises see Alain Finkielkraut, “Le risque du politique,” Emmanuel Levinas, ed.

Because I am first and m ost deeply in relation with the other per­ son, he or she will have been there not only during but also before I have m ade anything my own. Because he or she has this otherness anterior to the life I live for myself, his or her face alone is enough for me to learn that, before I have taken these things for myself, there has already been this other person whose claim on things is prior to my own. It is in this sense that the face of the other expresses an ethical com m and which takes hold o f the deepest root of my being.

It is not only the law but also the bearer o f the law. If, as Lévinas has argued, it is indeed first or m ost o f all the law, this primacy is nonetheless itself impossible w ithout the support o f the very dimension which it subordinates. The corporeality of the face, the aspect of the ethical appeal which enters our experience, m ak­ ing it comprehensible, is a necessary condition for ethics. So too is the local here and the punctual now, which Lévinas would similarly submit to the primacy of futurity— to the sense in which an otherness beyond com prehen­ sion arrives from beyond every projected horizon.

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Emmanuel Levinas Critical Assessments Vol. IV by Claire Elise Katz and Lara Trout (eds.)

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