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Origins of the Other: Emmanuel Levinas Between Revelation and Ethics
by Samuel Moyn
The French-Jewish thinker Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) is today remembered as the central moralist of the twentieth century and remains a major presence in the contemporary humanities. In this book, written in lucid and jargon-free prose, Samuel Moyn provides a first and controversial history of the makings of his thought, and especially of his trademark concept of "the ot ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published December 21st 2006 by Cornell University Press
(first published 2005)
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Moyn does a really nice job of situating Levinas in the intellectual moment that created him, at the intersection of phenomenology and theology in the pre-WWII era. He pitches Levinas's ethical turn as the product of an urge to come up with an alternative to Heidegger's account of humanity in Being and Time, and he locates the raw materials that Levinas draws on in the reaction against humanist and rationalist theology of the 19th century: namely Karl Barth and Rosenzweig. The downsides are that ...more
Samuel Moyn is Professor of European History at Columbia University.More about Samuel Moyn...