Debating Levinas’ Legacy


The contributions of this volume discuss the legacy of Emmanuel Levinas’ philosophy. Examining critically the limits of his thinking, they also bear witness to its influence on contemporary philosophy, thus demonstrating the significance of his groundbreaking project of establishing ethics as first philosophy. In four parts, “First Philosophy, Phenomenology, and Ethics,” “Phenomenology and its Theological Turn?,” “Ethics and Aesthetics,” “Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Deconstruction,“ the major themes in Levinas’ oeuvre are addressed, such as alterity, human dignity, religion, and communication.

Contributors: Thomas Baumeister, Andris Breitling, Roger Burggraeve, Arthur Cools, Sylvie Courtine-Denamy, Eddo Evink, Matthias Flatscher, Gert-Jan van der Heiden, Alwin Letzkus, Burkhard Liebsch, Michel Lisse, Stefano Micali, Marcel Poorthuis, Renée van Riessen, Johan Taels, László Tengelyi, Rudi Visker, Jacques de Visscher, Elisabeth Weber.

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Andris Breitling, Ph.D. (2005), Technische Universität Berlin, Dr. phil. habil. (2014), Universität Rostock, is Professor for Ethics, Social Philosophy, and Theory of Culture at the Hochschule Niederrhein, Germany. He has published a monograph on Paul Ricœur’s thinking of history, Möglichkeitsdichtung – Wirklichkeitssinn (Fink, 2007).
Chris Bremmers, Ph.D. (2000), Radboud University Nijmegen, is Senior Lecturer in Moral Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. He translated Levinas' 'Totality and Infinity' and Heidegger's 'Letter on Humanism' into Dutch, (co)edited volumes on hermeneutic phenomenology and Heidegger and published on Heidegger and various topics at the intersection of phenomenology, poetics, and ethics.
Arthur Cools, Ph.D. (2003), KULeuven, is Professor of Contemporary Philosophy and Philosophy of Art at the University of Antwerp. He is the author of Langage et subjectivity. Vers une approche du différend entre Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Levinas (Peeters, 2007) and co-edited The Locus of Tragedy (Brill, 2008), among others.
"Overall, Debating Levinas' Legacy provides new insights into the traditional problems that have been central issues for Levinas scholars…The fact that the book combines essays written in English with essays in German and French testifies to its appreciation of the plurality of philosophical languages and adds to its international appeal." - Geoffrey Dierckxsens, University of Antwerp, in: Ethical Perspectives 23 (2016) 3
The Contributors
Editors’ Preface
Part One: First Philosophy, Phenomenology, and Ethics
Levinas’ defence of intellectualism: an undecidable ambiguity?, Arthur Cools
Singularity without identity in Levinas, László Tengelyi †
The inhuman core of human dignity. Levinas and beyond, Rudi Visker
The human person: vulnerability and responsiveness. Reflections on human dignity, religio and the other’s voice, Burkhard Liebsch
The deformalization of time, Stefano Micali
Schlaflosigkeit, Elisabeth Weber
Part Two: Phenomenology and its Theological Turn?
Twisting ways. Emmanuel Levinas on how not to talk about God, Roger Burggraeve
Metaphysics in phenomenology. Levinas and the ‘Theological Turn’, Eddo Evink
The holy text and violence. Levinas and fundamentalism, Marcel Poorthuis
Identity: gaining it by losing it? The notion of kenosis, Renée D.N. van Riessen
Part Three: Ethics and Aesthetics
Antlitz und Porträt. Überlegungen zu Kunst und Ethik im Denken von Emmanuel Levinas, Thomas Baumeister
À l’écoute de l’invisible, Sylvie Courtine-Denamy †
Abstraction et expression dans les arts plastiques, Jacques de Visscher
Part Four: Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Deconstruction,
Zur responsiven Dimension der Sprache und ihren Implikationen auf das menschliche Selbstverständnis. Überlegungen zum Verhältnis zwischen Heidegger und Levinas, Matthias Flatscher
The risk and promise of communication. Levinas and Ricoeur on language, responsibility, and recognition, Andris Breitling
The contaminated wound: Derrida on the language of Levinas, Gert-Jan van der Heiden
“Auf das Unerwartete gefaßt sein” – Über die Grenzen der Geschichte nach Heidegger, Derrida und Levinas, Alwin Letzkus
L’hymen de Lévinas, Michel Lisse
Suffering and humour in Søren Kierkegaard and Emmanuel Levinas, Johan Taels
All scholars and students interested in the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, Contemporary French Philosophy, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Deconstruction, Metaphysics, Ethics, Social Philosophy, Aesthetics, Theology, or Jewish Studies.
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