Totalite and infinity an essay on exteriority

Understanding the role of freedom in Levinas might be one of the keys to understanding this complex, subtle, and very difficult to understand post modern philosopher, who constantly invokes Plato and Descartes throughout this book as well as Abraham who departs his home never to return in contrast to Ulysses or Odysseus who goes on adventures only on the way home.

Totalite and infinity an essay on exteriority

Lee rated it it was amazing Altering the very first sentence of this extraordinary and highly original book, I quote: "Everyone will readily agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by freedom. In the face to face I am free to close myself up in egoism, like an oyster recoiling onto itself, or to open myself up for the Other in becoming "the one-for-the-Other," as Levinas puts it repeatedly in OB. He became a French citizen and eventually a prisoner during World War II, at which time his entire family was exterminated. But asi de from a few brief hints and sketches, he was unable, before his unfortunate death in , to work out carefully his ultimate philosophi cal point of view. The impulse of being or essence is to "fill[.. He certainly engages in patient and brilliant phenomenological analyses in the manner of Husserl and Heidegger, as he does with respect to enjoyment, labor, home Section II , will, death, time Section III , or eros, fecundity, paternity Section III. Written words and other words do not suffice because they have become past by the time the subject perceives them. To condemn freedom as imperialistic, as in Sartrean gesture, would be a bit too hasty; and to deny it altogether while talking ethics would be to preach masochism. IT , ; The Republic , d. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. This is so, not because morality and freedom are interchangeable, as many maintain, but, quite the contrary, because in questioning freedom, Levinas addresses morality. But will is also equivocal, capable of betrayal. In any event, returning to our theme, freedom in relationship to the Other reveals itself as arbitrary and violent--that is, unjustified. It cannot be proved.

To condemn freedom as imperialistic, as in Sartrean gesture, would be a bit too hasty; and to deny it altogether while talking ethics would be to preach masochism. The movement of tracing freedom back to the prior condition, the movement of a "critique" which he says is "the essence of knowing" 85leads to the critique of the same and to the primacy of the Other.

emmanuel levinas

Merleau-Ponty's major work is a lasting contri but ion to the phenomenology of the pre-objective world of perception. The ethical welcome in which the home is opened and rendered wholly to the service of the Other, and the feminine welcome in which home becomes a place of "a delightful lapse in being" TI in the privacy of the closed doors are two distinct tracks of transcendence, both of which presuppose the otherness of the Other or transcendence.

Ethics and infinity

Hebrew was the first language that he learned to read; he also acquired a love of the Russian classics, particularly works by Pushkin and Tolstoy which first stirred his philosophical interests. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which means exactly: to have the idea of infinity. To examine freedom, he says, is to "trac[e] back to what precedes freedom" Totality And Infinity TI The experience of the ravages of totalitarianism during World War II convinced Levinas that only a rediscovery of the specificity of Judaism could deliver the modern world from itself. These terms are, of course, from the common coinage in philosophy, except for the term "face. In France, the best known of these recent attempts have been made by Sartre in his Being and Nothingness and by Merleau-Ponty in his Phenomenol ogy of Perception and certain later fragments. The self is already infected by that which cracks open the totality, by the interiority or unicity that opens to exteriority, by that which remains irreducible to a system, to a network of significations, or to a horizon Husserl or to a world Heidegger. TI

We as rational beings are destined to be moral. Lee rated it it was amazing Altering the very first sentence of this extraordinary and highly original book, I quote: "Everyone will readily agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by freedom.

levinas totality and infinity google books

Subjects gain access to this spiritual world, infinity, by opening themselves to the Otherness of the other. For centuries philosophers have debated as to whether we are free or not; and if we are, as to what freedom might mean.

levinas ethics

No totality or system can reduce it to an integrated whole or unity.

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Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority