Philosophy@Utah State

Home » Uncategorized » Review of book on Levinas

Review of book on Levinas

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 108 other followers

Old Main, USU


You need a Philosophy T-shirt! For more information, please click here.


* Interested in presenting a paper at an UNDERGRADUATE PHILOSOPHY CONFERENCE or publishing in an UNDERGRADUATE PHILOSOPHY JOURNAL? You should consider it! To see what options are available, both in state and out of state, click here.


• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

Blog Stats

  • 196,879 hits

Some of you understand and like Levinas, and there’s a recent book on his view of time, reviewed here. Representative quote:

If the instant is often understood as a liberating hiatus from the flux of time, only achievable internally by the self-present subject, then Levinas is original in claiming that the instant is more akin to captivity and powerlessness (50). The instant is a timeless present, without motion and without hope for the future; this point is disclosed readily in the experience of insomnia. For Levinas, this entails a distinct privation of time, a riveting to immanence. It is the very lack of transcendence (61). Given this reading of the instant, Severson shows, through a compelling interpretation of the unusual ideas that fill Existence and Existents, how Levinas positions himself to argue later for an “eschatological redemption of the instant” (61), which casts time as “a gift from the other” (63). Only the other, Levinas will argue, can deliver the insomniac from the terror of the night and set time in motion again. Hope, at this point, becomes the foundation of Levinas’s philosophy of time.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: