Levinas between Ethics and Politics

For the Beauty that Adorns the Earth

  • Authors
  • Bettina Bergo

Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 152)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Introduction

    1. Bettina Bergo
      Pages 1-5
  3. Presentation and Analysis of the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas

  4. Between Responsibility and Justice: A Criticism of the Passage from Ethics to Politics

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 302-309

About this book


The act of thought-thought as an act-would precede the thought thinking or becoming conscious of an act. The notion of act involves a violence essentially: the violence of transitivity, lacking in the transcendence of thought. . . Totality and Infinity The work of Emmanuel Levinas revolves around two preoccupations. First, his philosophical project can be described as the construction of a formal ethics, grounded upon the transcendence of the other human being and a subject's spontaneous responsibility toward that other. Second, Levinas has written extensively on, and as a member of, the cultural and textual life of Judaism. These two concerns are intertwined. Their relation, however, is one of considerable complexity. Levinas' philosophical project stems directly from his situation as a Jewish thinker in the twentieth century and takes its particular form from his study of the Torah and the Talmud. It is, indeed, a hermeneutics of biblical experience. If inspired by Judaism, Levinas' ethics are not eo ipso confessional. What his ethics takes from Judaism, rather, is a particular way of conceiving transcendence and the other human being. It owes to the philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber a logos of the world and of the holy, which acknowledges their incom­ mensurability without positing one as fallen and the other as supernal.


Emmanuel Lévinas ethics metaphysics phenomenology politics

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5214-8
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-2077-9
  • Series Print ISSN 0079-1350
  • Buy this book on publisher's site