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The Forward has a good article -- and some very interesting book news -- on Emmanuel Levinas:


Lithuanian-born French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, has grown in fame and stature since his death in 1995. Acclaimed for his philosophy of the “other,” which recognizes morality — and behavior toward others — as the basis for any philosophical thought, Levinas offers a decisive break with his onetime teacher Martin Heidegger’s comparatively individualist obsession with “being.”

In the murderous schoolyard of 20th-century politics, Levinas’s focus on playing well with others seems all the more crucial in retrospect. Moreover, as opposed to Heidegger’s notorious wartime embrace of Nazism, Levinas wrote of Judaism, and the Talmud in particular, as central subjects in the main stream of world philosophy.

This spring, a flood of admiring new books on Levinas will appear: Levinas and the Cinema of Redemption from Columbia University Press; Other Others: Levinas, Literature, Transcultural Studies from SUNY Press; Levinasian Meditations from Duquesne University Press; and A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas’s Philosophy of Judaism from Stanford University Press. Yet none is as startlingly, indeed stunningly, revelatory as a new book from Grasset-IMEC Publishers in France containing Levinas’s previously unpublished Notebooks in Captivity (Carnets de captivité) the first volume of a planned series of his complete writings (more...)

Readers Comments

  1. I have mixed feelings about all of this, Mark...not the least of which source for concern being the opening words which you (altogether understandably) chose not to cite...

    "The Obi-Wan Kenobi of 20th-century Jewish philosophy..."

  2. Mixed feelings for sure! The opening words, the periodical itself... but my priniciple justification for posting was really that nice round-up of forthcoming titles...

  3. Given Levinas' position, would Heidegger be Jabba the Hütte?

  4. The most interesting of the recent publications on Levinas is probably this collection edited by Pete Atterton: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Radicalizing-Levinas-Radical-Social-Political/dp/1438430965/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266513224&sr=8-1 (sorry about the linky thing!)

  5. Thanks Robin -- good spot.

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