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Discovering Levinas

Discovering Levinas

$113.00 (P)

  • Date Published: May 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521872591

$ 113.00 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Emmanuel Levinas is well known to students of twentieth-century continental philosophy, especially French philosophy. But he is largely unknown within the circles of Anglo- American philosophy. In Discovering Levinas, Michael L. Morgan shows how this thinker faces in novel and provocative ways central philosophical problems of twentieth-century philosophy and religious thought. He tackles this task by placing Levinas in conversation with philosophers such as Donald Davidson, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, Onora O'Neill, Charles Taylor, and Cora Diamond. He also seeks to understand Levinas within philosophical, religious, and political developments in the history of twentieth-century intellectual culture. Morgan demystifies Levinas by examining his unfamiliar and surprising vocabulary, interpreting texts with an eye to clarity, and arguing that Levinas can be understood as a philosopher of the everyday. Morgan also shows that Levinas's ethics is not morally and politically irrelevant nor is it excessively narrow and demanding in unacceptable ways. Neither glib dismissal nor fawning acceptance, this book provides a sympathetic reading that can form a foundation for a responsible critique.

    • First book to offer a comprehensive reading of Levinas that places him within the world of Anglo-American, analytic philosophy
    • Deals with issues that are both contested in scholarship about Levinas and also would be problems for philosophers unfamiliar with his work
    • Attempts to demystify Levinas by placing him in conversation with prominent contemporary philosophers and using familiar terms to clarify his terminology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Michael Morgan's Discovering Levinas offers a fresh and distinctive approach to the task of introducting Levinas to the dominant philosophical audience in the United States. Although there is a growing awareness of Levinas among mainstream philosophers, there is very little available to them that offers an introduction. Discovering Levinas fills this gap. It is a first rate book." -Robert Bernasconi, University of Memphis

    "This book fills a clear need and will be welcomed by anyone who takes Levinas seriously. I have no doubt it will leave its mark on the field and change the way that Levinas is discussed." -Kenneth Seeskin, Northwestern University

    "This clear, fascinating, and outstandingly learned study is remarkable for, among other things, bringing Levinas into fruitful conversation with notable Anglo-American philosophers. Morgan continually compares what Levinas has to say on a wide range of philosophical topics with the views of, e.g., Donald Davidson, John McDowell, Christine Korsgaard, Stanley Cavell, Hilary Putnam, and Charles Taylor. The result is an exemplary model of how to write across the so-called analytic/continental divide. It is obvious that Morgan has thought both hard and originally about how to teach Levinas, about how to introduce a figure whose writings are apt to come across as impenetrable. The result is stunning—a work of impressive depth and wonderful accessibility." --David Finkelstein, University of Chicago

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521872591
    • length: 528 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 165 x 38 mm
    • weight: 0.836kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Auschwitz, politics, and the twentieth century
    2. Phenomenology and transcendental philosophy
    3. The ethical content of the face-to-face
    4. Philosophy, totality, and the everyday
    5. Meaning, culture, and language
    6. Subjectivity and the self
    7. God and philosophy
    8. Time, Messianism, and diachrony
    9. Ethical realism and contemporary moral philosophy
    10. Beyond language and expressibility
    11. Judaism, ethics, and religion
    Conclusion: Levinas and the primacy of the ethical - Kant, Kierkegaard, and Derrida
    Appendix: facing reasons.

  • Author

    Michael L. Morgan, Indiana University, Bloomington
    Michael L. Morgan has been a professor at Indiana University for 31 years and, in 2004, was named a Chancellor's Professor. He has published articles in a variety of journals, edited several collections, and authored four books, most recently Interim Judaism (2001). He is the coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy.

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