Journal Article

Lévinas, Disinterest and Enthusiasm

Sean Gaston

in Literature and Theology

Volume 17, issue 4, pages 407-421
Published in print December 2003 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2003 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/17.4.407
Lévinas, Disinterest and Enthusiasm

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Lévinas revives the tradition of disinterest and redefines the classical search for a disinterested subject as a radical dis-interest of the subject by and for the other. He both redefines and reinhabits the traditional grounds of disinterest. While he rejects the sympathetic imagination as a synthesis, he retains the link between disinterest and rationality. He repeats the classical opposition between disinterest and enthusiasm and, at the same time, gestures to a rational enthusiasm or inspiration. Lévinas's remarkable reworking of disinterest relies ultimately both on an idea of God and an ethical, rational and inspired Judaism. It is a dis-interest without good conscience: a harsh transcedence, an infinite responsibility without rest.

ma responsabilité—malgré moi 1

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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