Best known for his theories of ethics and responsibility, Emmanuel Levinas was one of the most profound and influential thinkers of the last century. In this clear, accessible guide, Seán Hand examines why Levinas is increasingly fundamental to the study of literature and culture today. Exploring the intellectual and social contexts of his work and the events that shaped it, Hand considers:
- the influence of phenomenology and Judaism on Levinas’s thought
- key concepts such as the ‘face’, the ‘other’, ethical consciousness and responsibility
- Levinas’s work on aesthetics
- the relationship of philosophy and religion in his writings
- the interaction of his work with historical discussions
- his often complex relationships with other theorists and theories
Emmanuel Levinas’s unique contribution to theory set an exemplary standard for all subsequent thought. This outstanding guide to his work will prove invaluable to scholars and students across a wide range of disciplines - from philosophy and literary criticism through to international relations and the creative arts.
Table of Contents
Why Levinas? Key Ideas 1. Biography 2. Phenomenology and Judaism 3. Totality and Infinity 4. Otherwise than Being 5. Aesthetics 6. Talmudic Readings 7. Difficult Freedom: Politics and Ethics After Levinas Works Cited Bibliography
Seán Hand is Professor of French and Head of the Department of French Studies at the University of Warwick. His central research interests focus on twentieth-century French writing and philosophy.