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Is It Righteous to Be?: Interviews with Emmanuel Levinas [Hardcover]

By Emmanuel Levinas (Author), Jill Robbins (Editor) & Robbins Jill (Editor)
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Item description for Is It Righteous to Be?: Interviews with Emmanuel Levinas by Emmanuel Levinas, Jill Robbins & Robbins Jill...

Recent debates within Continental philosophy have decisively renewed the question of the ethical, with the French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995) as its center. Coming from yet in contestation with the phenomenological traditions of Husserl and Heidegger, Levinas defines ethics as an originary response to the face of the other. For him, language is an exception to a habitual economy that represses alterity and maintains the asymmetry and distance constitutive of the nontotalizing relation to the other. Ethics occurs in the interlocutionary relation to the other, and interpellation--a kind of interruption by speaking--is the essential feature of ethical language.
Between 1982 and 1992, Levinas gave numerous interviews, closing a distinguished sixty-year career. Of the twenty interviews collected in this volume, seventeen appear in English for the first time. In the interviews Levinas sets forth the central features of his ethical philosophy, previously enunciated in "Totality and Infinity" (1961), in a language that bridges to the idiom of his later work. He underlines his dedication to the phenomenological search for the concrete and the nonformal signification of alterity. He also elaborates issues that do not receive extensive treatment in his formal philosophical works, including the question of prephilosophical experiences and the ethical signification of money, justice, and the State.
The informality of the interviews prompts Levinas to address matters about which he is reticent in his published works, notably the relation of his ethical philosophy to theological questions, the intrication of the Hebrew Bible in Greek philosophy, his substantial corpus of "nonphilosophical" or "confessional" writings on the Talmud, and recollections of his extraordinary talmudic teacher, Shoshani.
The centerpiece of the volume is a previously untranslated 1986 interview with Francois Poirie. Containing Levinas's sole extended discussion of biographical matters with an interviewer, this text helps to situate Levinas in his contemporary intellectual world and to clarify his place in French thought.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Stanford University Press
Pages   315
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.2" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2002
Publisher   Stanford University Press
ISBN  0804743088  
ISBN13  9780804743082  

Availability  0 units.

More About Emmanuel Levinas, Jill Robbins & Robbins Jill

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Emmanuel Levinas was professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne and the director of the Ecole Normale Superieur Isra?lite Orientale until his death in 1995. He exerted a profound influence on twentieth century continental philosophy, providing inspiration for Derrida, Lyotard, Blanchot, Irigary, and Finkielkraut, among others. Among his works translated into English are Proper Names, Ethics and Infinity, Time and the Other, and Otherwise than Being.

Emmanuel Levinas was born in 1906 and died in 1995.

Emmanuel Levinas has published or released items in the following series...
  1. European Perspectives
  2. European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultur
  3. Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Is It Righteous to Be? Interviews with Emmanuel Levinas?

Entry Into Levinas  Jun 23, 2006
This collection of interviews is one of the best ways to enter into the world of Levinas. It is a world from which one exits transformed. Levinas may be the most important thinker of the past century; he is certainly the one thinker who has been willing to gaze into the suffering of the 20th century and to emerge with a vision and a challenge for those of us who are seeking for a way of thinking that does not ignore the bloody past. These interviews introduce one to Levinas through his own descriptions of his childhood. They, moreover, usher the reader into the difficult, yet profound, thoughts of levinas: the face, the other, God, and justice. If you are tempted to jump into the world of Levinas, do so first through these interviews. Then, when you have acclimated yourself to his world, you might consider some of his more challenging works.

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