Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence by Emmanuel Levinas

By Emmanuel Levinas

A sequel to Levinas's Totality and Infinity, this paintings is mostly thought of Levinas's most crucial contribution to the modern debate surrounding the closure of metaphysical discourse, a lot commented upon via Jacques Derrida. This paintings encompasses a essentially unique idea of the moral courting and describes the face-to-face dating, sensibility, accountability and speech. popular Levinas student Richard A. Cohen has contributed a brand new foreword to this version of in a different way than Being, that's additionally the 1st time the paintings comes in an inexpensive paperback version. This foreword, in addition to Alphonso Lingis's vast creation to the paintings, is a necessary instrument for researchers and scholars of Levinas's philosophy.

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Extra resources for Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence

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But can language, as such, be a message of hope, a bene-diction, the bearer of a great promise, despite all the damage—its reification, standardization, xlii / PRO L OGU E and impoverishment, as well as its use in violence and its abuse in the service of evil—that has befallen it since the beginning of history? How could language, despite its fall into one catastrophe after another, still have a promise to keep? ”71 What, today, can “Paradise” possibly mean? Have we not lost the meaning of that word?

Today, moreover, whilst there are passionate debates about the happiness constitutive of a good individual life, the utopian conditions necessary for the happiness promised to an entire society have generated much more inflamed disagreements. Utopian conditions raise moral-political questions that must be determined on grounds different from those that figure in the individual’s conception of the good life. ” However, whilst the story that the author tells illuminates the nature of the unhappiness in Anna’s family, he leaves us in the dark regarding the character of the happiness that he supposes to be the same in all families.

And it required a rational harmony between the life of the individual and the conditions of socialpolitical existence. Thus, the happiness of the individual, which meant, for the Greek philosophers, a life of virtue, would be inseparable from—dependent on—the individual’s happiness as a member of the political life of the community. This implies that happiness would be impossible without the harmony in a just order of society. The visionary world of the ancient Greek philosophers seems, today, very strange and distant.

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