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Totalità e infinito. Saggio sull'esteriorità

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  891 ratings  ·  25 reviews
En filosofía, ni se puede retroceder a antes de Heidegger ni es posible dar por buena su barbarie. La ardua tarea del filósofo consiste en aprovechar para la nueva filosofía lo que aquél no ha logrado integrar sabiamente en su enseñanza y que sigue vivo y lleno de porvenir en Platón, Descartes, Husserl y, desde luego, en el monoteísmo bíblico, entendido como fuente de sent ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published 1995 by Jaca Book (first published 1961)
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Chungsoo Lee
Altering the very first sentence of this extraordinary and highly original book, I quote: "Everyone will readily agree that it is of the highest importance to know whether we are not duped by freedom." I have, of course, replaced the word "freedom" for "morality." In altering the sentence, however, as I hope to show, I have not altered the central theme of the book (first published in French in 1961). This is so, not because morality and freedom are interchangeable, as many maintain, but, quite ...more
Francisco Zuniga

Levinas has put love into philosophical terms. I don't mean romantic love. I mean love as in the giving of oneself for the well-being of all others.
Every time I read this, I realize how my understanding of Levinas is partial.
Levinas has rekindled my faith that it is possible to act ethically and be a generally "good" person without subscribing to any particular codification of religion. Amazing book, if you can get through it. It made my head hurt!
Another college book. I read this my senior year. Obviously most of it has been lost to memory. What has not been lost is the conversation I had eating warm johnnie bread, drinking stolen wine and talking about the Other with my roommate and another friend well into the night. Levinas' project is fascinating because he is trying to take the existiential phenomenology that Heidegger develops and argue that Alethia is structured by the ethics of the other. Much of this ultimately tends to be too m ...more
Certainly, an incredibly difficult book--but definitely one well worth the effort. Levinas presents so much to contemplate in a way I find other (alter, perhaps) than in most other forms of expression. The ideas presented here must be continually remembered and reflected on, in my view--very highly recommended.
Levinas applies Phenomenology to Buber to argue that Ethics begins with the intrusion of the face of another human into the confines of consciousness.
Noé Ajo caamaño
Emmanuel Levinas ha pasado por el holocausto, y ni su pensamiento ni el de ningún filósofo podrá ya trabajar como si aquello no hubiera ocurrido. Su filosofía, aunque pensando las grandes ideas tradicionales de la totalidad y el infinito, aterriza en la responsabilidad incuestionable que instaura la mirada del otro, la cual funda la ética. Se piensa la totalidad y el infinito, pero solo por tener que cuidar al ser humano de carne y hueso, al otro que que nos impone su rostro. No obstante, ideali ...more
Michaela Wood
Nov 28, 2007 Michaela Wood rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosophers
I found this book has shone in my memory for such a long time as a book everyone should read because it explored the ideas of 'self' and 'other' with such ease. This is a kind of ease one develops when one has seen first hand the horrors that ensue from the fragmentation of morality. Levinas was a survivor of the Shoa (better term than holocaust) and he saw whjat it was in the Nazi philosophy that allowed men and women to act immorally to the Jew, the Homosexual (evebn though many of the Nazis w ...more
This book is full of rich and provocative insights. Levinas developed his philosophical insights--a blend of themes of phenomenology with ideas from Bergson and German Idealism--during the same period that Heidegger and Sartre were developing their philosophies, and there is strong resonance between all three. What is frustrating about this book, though, is that, (1) unlike the works by Sartre and Heidegger, it is often characterized by an approach to language that seems contrived and (2) it is ...more
If there is true, its elsewhere
Levinas restores the phenomenological inseparability of the philosophical and the theological in the face of the Other in this deeply ethical work. This work is hard to read. It takes vigor and commitment to get through it. I would recommend, first, just pushing through the entirety of the work before stopping and sorting it all out. This work is not linear. There is a lot of back-and-forth, and it really must be read as such. Otherwise, an amazing work whose heaviness ought not be ignored.
May 01, 2007 Noah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in ethics.
Shelves: philosophy
Levinas's first major treatment of his conception of ethics as first philosophy. At its center is a view of the ethical relation as fundamentally asymmetrical, due to the dual height and destitution of the Other. An ethics founded on the face-to-face, Levinas runs into trouble when he attempts to move "beyond the face" and offer a phenomenology of Eros that has been very pointedly critiqued by Irigaray.
Problematic not for its ideas and fundamental points, though those are flawed, but for the presentation, which is not very persuasive or sensible. Grounding ethics in the distance between self and other is a fairly fascinating idea in itself, but Levinas doesn't flesh it out well.
Okla Elliott
Levinas has emerged as one of the four or five most influential European philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century, and Totality and Infinity should be considered his first major philosophical treatise. If you only read one book by Levinas, this ought to be the one.
Can't say the sections on gender and eros were all that helpful but overall pretty great.
Phil Wyman
5 stars for the depth of thought, and the invaluable critique of Heideggerian phenomenology. 3 points for readability (that might be generous). Great and important book. Difficult read,.
Difficult to get through. But basically, the message is this: the Other is infinite and because of this, you cannot totalize the Other because of the Other's alterity.
Powerful critique to Heidegger. Started reading this over 10 yrs ago but only now appreciating its depth AFTER gaining some grasp of Heidegger's lifetime work.
Fenomenología, alteridad y el fin de la modernidad. De la muerte de Dios y el fracaso de la razón a la ética de Dios en el rostro del Otro.
Best philosophical response to World War II, and the only real counterpoint to Heidegger among their many contemporaries.
Jun 27, 2013 i! marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
To read in response to Buber
Mary Eyring
A complicated and thoughtful contemplation of suffering and responsibility.
May 21, 2009 Levi is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition

Section III approaches after only 2 years of close reading in the desert...
Grant Francis
Phenomenological ethics (sort of)
Alex marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2015
Patricia Walsh
Patricia Walsh marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2015
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  • The Gift of Death
  • Difference and Repetition
  • Being and Event
  • The Visible and the Invisible
  • Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology
  • Truth and Method
  • Matter and Memory
  • The Writing of the Disaster
  • The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures
  • Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit
  • Must We Mean What We Say?: A Book of Essays
  • Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Negative Dialectics
  • Nietzsche, Volumes One and Two
Emanuelis Levinas (later adapted to French orthography as Emmanuel Levinas) received a traditional Jewish education in Lithuania. After WWII, he studied the Talmud under the enigmatic "Monsieur Chouchani", whose influence he acknowledged only late in his life.

Levinas began his philosophical studies at Strasbourg University in 1924, where he began his lifelong friendship with the French philosopher
More about Emmanuel Levinas...
Otherwise Than Being, or, Beyond Essence Ethics and Infinity Time and the Other (and Additional Essays) Emmanuel Levinas: Basic Philosophical Writings (Studies in Continental Thought) Entre Nous: Essays on Thinking-Of-The-Other

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“To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which means exactly: to have the idea of infinity. But this also means: to be taught. The relation with the Other, or Conversation, is a non-allergic relation, an ethical relation; but inasmuch as it is welcomed this conversation is a teaching. Teaching is not reducible to maieutics; it comes from the exterior and brings me more than I contain. In its non-violent transitivity the very epiphany of the face is produced.” 26 likes
“Love remains a relation with the Other that turns into need, transcendent exteriority of the other, of the beloved. But love goes beyond the beloved... The possibility of the Other appearing as an object of a need while retaining his alterity, or again,the possibility of enjoying the Other... this simultaneity of need and desire, or concupiscence and transcendence,... constitutes the originality of the erotic which, in this sense, is the equivocal par excellence.” 8 likes
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