"To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas" by Adriaan PeperzakWhereas traditionally first philosophy denoted either metaphysics or theology, only to be reconceived by Heidegger as fundamental ontology, Levinas argued that it is ethics that should be so conceived. But rather than formulating an ethical theory , Levinas developed his philosophy in opposition to both these aforementioned approaches. It takes the form of a description and interpretation of the event of encountering another person. However that may be, his work is in ongoing, critical dialogue with three philosophers: Husserl, Heidegger, and Hegel. He is also indebted to Heidegger for his hermeneutics of being-in-the-world.
The main threads of Emmanuel Levinas's theory of ethics, developed in his philosophical works, Totality and Infinity , and Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence , instruct that ethics require transcendence of being and nature, which he describes in terms of a transcendence of animality to the human. This apparent devaluation of the nonhuman would seem to preclude the development of Levinasian environmental ethics. However, a deconstructive reading of Levinas recognizes a subtext that interrupts the main threads of his argument running against the inclusion of nonhuman others in ethics. Through a critical reconstructive reading of Levinas, I develop an ethic extraneous to Levinas's transcendent ethics, an ethic outside his "otherwise than being. Access options available:. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Emmanuelis Levinas later adapted to French orthography as Emmanuel Levinas was born in into a middle-class Litvak family in Kaunas, Russian Empire. Because of the disruptions of World War I , the family moved to Charkow in the Region of Ukraine in , where they stayed during the Russian revolutions of February and October In his family returned to the Republic of Lithuania. Levinas's early education was in secular, Russian-language schools in Kaunas and Charkow. Levinas began his philosophical studies at the University of Strasbourg in ,  and his lifelong friendship with the French philosopher Maurice Blanchot.
In assuming this colossal responsibility, Levinas has changed the course of . ethics as first philosophy in Totality and Infinity; the importance of language.
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