The place of totality in Emmanuel Levinas' Philosophy: being, subjectivity and the text

Hanlon, Sheldon (2003) The place of totality in Emmanuel Levinas' Philosophy: being, subjectivity and the text. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to illustrate the importance of totality in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. The :first chapter shows how his early struggle with totality is a direct response to Martin Heidegger and the history of Western thought. I understand Levinas' early thought as a reformulation of the Heideggerian distinction between Being and beings and claim it aims at presenting a notion of subjectivity that is not to be interpreted as a totality. The second chapter will take this new notion of subjectivity and show how it results in methodological problems when Levinas uses the language of subjectivity to express the idea of the absolute Other, an idea which escapes all concepts. The textual difficulties mentioned in the second chapter will lead us into a discussion of Levinas' later thought, where I will show that his Saying-Said correlation demands that totality have a crucial and unreducible place in his thought. The need for both 'Same' and 'Other', accordingly, will allow me to evaluate how Levinas' thought fits into the history of philosophy, and how it is at the same time outside it.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10613
Item ID: 10613
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaf 69.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2003
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Philosophy, French--20th century; Whole and parts (Philosophy)

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