Levinas and Civil/Human Liberties after September 11

Brett Levinson

in Market and Thought

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223848
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235421 | DOI:
Levinas and Civil/Human Liberties after September 11

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This chapter addresses the questions of civil and human liberties after September 11 through a study of Emmanuel Levinas. After September 11, civil rights lost its footing as a political instrument, yielding to civil liberties. And human rights, a monitor of international rights, gave ground to the “right to security against terrorism” regardless of human rights. Opposed to politics, Levinas's ethics nonetheless is a saying of God. God's gift to the people is therefore the potential to respond and to act. The chapter argues that this is Levinas's position: there is no Good, no event, no encounter, no human or civil rights without God. Those who say otherwise are, for Levinas, not without religion but, precisely, too religious, too moralistic, too political, and all too human besides.

Keywords: September 11; Levinas; revelation; human liberty; human rights; ethics; law

Chapter.  8036 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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