Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority
Ever since the beginning of the modern phenomenological movement disciplined attention has been paid to various patterns of human experi ence as they are actually lived through in the concrete. This has brought forth many attempts to tind a general philosophical position which can do justice to these experiences without reduction or distQrtion. In France, the best known of these recent attempts have been made by Sartre in his Being and Nothingness and by Merleau-Ponty in his Phenomenol ogy of Perception and certain later fragments. Sartre has a keen sense for life as it is lived, and his work is marked by many penetrating descrip tions. But his dualistic ontology of the en-soi versus the pour-soi has seemed over-simple and inadequate to many critics, and has been seriously qualitied by the author himself in his latest Marxist work, The Critique of Dialetical Reason. Merleau-Ponty's major work is a lasting contri but ion to the phenomenology of the pre-objective world of perception. But asi de from a few brief hints and sketches, he was unable, before his unfortunate death in 1961, to work out carefully his ultimate philosophi cal point of view. This leaves us then with the German philosopher, Heidegger, as the only contemporary thinker who has formulated a total ontology which claims to do justice to the stable results of phenomenology and to the liv ing existential thought of our time.
What people are saying - Write a review
Why is this E-book double the price?
This book which I own in paperback form, is more than simply word play and nuance. It provides the clues overlooked by our dependence on external ontology provided by the same. It gives us a bridge to approach the other and not to attempt its consumption. However, why the E-book cost double the price of the paperback is beyond me. This is a crime. It is by its economic justifications keeping this and other great works at arms length from the rest of the world. 5 stars for the book. None for the publishers ignorant decision.
Levinas' difficult prose withstanding, this work promises to be of enormous value to serious thinkers struggling with the present and difficult situation of Ethics. If one wants to receive the full benefit of this work, or if one is concerned to have every element of it shine through in the most transparent way, it would require a familiarity with not just Levinas' own Talmudic background and his love of the community of the text, but further, a working knowledge of the various systems of thinking of the Western Philosophical Tradition, from Plato to Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Büber, Husserl, and Heidegger (just to name a number of those that I now recall as represented). These are Levinas' primary conversational partners in discussing the phenomenal character of Ethics, in relation to Heidegger (if nothing else, Heidegger's "Being and Time" provides perhaps the most important recent impetus for Levinas' work). But supposing even that one lacks the technical philosophical background this book everywhere signals, one cannot but help be deeply affected by it, if only by simply attending with great care to the enigmatic language of Levinas, the "other" that points us to the critical question of Ethics.
B SEPARATION AND DISCOURSE
TRUTH AND JUSTICE
A SEPARATION AS LIFE
Affectivity as the Ipseity of the I
E THE WORLD OF PHENOMENA
B ETHICS AND THE FACE
THE ETHICAL RELATION AND TIME
A THE AMBIGUITY OF LOVE
E TRANSCENDENCE AND FECUNDITY
From the Like to the Same
Expression and Image
A SENSIBILITY AND THE FACE