Chapter

Emmanuel Levinas

Richard Kearney

in Debates in Continental Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223176
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823223176.003.0005

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Emmanuel Levinas

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Apart from the great masters of the history of philosophy—in particular Plato, Rene Descartes, and Immanuel Kant—the first contemporary influence of Emmanuel Levinas's thinking was Henri-Louis Bergson. In 1925, in Strasbourg University, Bergson was being hailed as France's leading thinker. Moreover, Bergson's theory of time as concrete duration is, Levinas believes, one of the most significant, if largely ignored, contributions to contemporary philosophy. Indeed, it was this Bergsonian emphasis on temporality that prepared the ground for the subsequent implantation of Heideggerian phenomenology into France. Bergson was the first to contrast technology, as a logical and necessary expression of scientific rationality, with an alternative form of human expression which he called creative intuition or impulse. Levinas also talks about the ethics of the infinite.

Keywords: Henri-Louis Bergson; theory of time; contemporary philosophy; temporality; phenomenology; philosophy; Emmanuel Levinas; impulse; ethics; infinite

Chapter.  8401 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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