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Lévinas, Emmanuel; Lévinas, Emmanuel; Fagenblat, Michael's A covenant of creatures : Levinas's philosophy of Judaism PDF

By Lévinas, Emmanuel; Lévinas, Emmanuel; Fagenblat, Michael

"I am now not a very Jewish thinker," stated Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This publication argues opposed to the assumption, affirmed through Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and another way Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. by means of analyzing Levinas's philosophical works throughout the prism of Judaic texts and ideas, Michael Fagenblat argues that what Levinas known as "ethics" is as a lot a hermeneutical product wrought from the Judaic background as a sequence of phenomenological observations. interpreting the Levinas's philosophy of Judaism inside of a Heideggerian and Pauline framework, Fagenblat makes use of biblical, rabbinic, and Maimonidean texts to supply sustained interpretations of the philosopher's paintings. eventually he demands a reconsideration of the relation among culture and philosophy, and of the that means of religion after the loss of life of epistemology.

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Moreover, since this interpretation of Levinas Levinas’s New Creation  affirms the religiously determined character of his work by calling it “Jewish,” it leads to an impasse. Levinas’s philosophy could be affirmed only within a tradition of faith and should therefore rightly be rejected by anyone who stands outside that tradition. Kosky is entirely correct to point to a mirroring of these two interpretative camps, the one affirming the religious element of Levinas’s thought as a Judaic alternative to philosophy, the other denouncing it as recourse to revelation, piety, and dogmatism.

His arguments and conclusions made claims independent of his particular confession of faith and religious affiliation. They are, he proposed, independent of all confessions of faith and religious affiliations; they are phenomenological analyses of “the thing itself,” the thing of ethics. The Other—that thing of ethics—is not a Judaic or even a religious phenomenon. And if religion in general and Judaism in particular agree on the significance and manifestation of ethics, that is because they have caught sight of something in the thing itself rather than because philosophy is an apology for religion or doctrine.

That sort of a picture distorts our perception of Levinas’s work, of much of the history of Jewish thought, and of the very idea of a modern philosophy of Judaism. What Levinas provides, rather, is a philosophy of Judaism without and or between. On the Very Idea of a Philosophy of Judaism: The Heideggerian Debt One might object that this sort of approach is at odds with Levinas’s own views regarding ethics and Judaism. Levinas is one of the few modern philosophers to argue vigorously that ethical judgment is exercised over history and not simply within history.

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