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Levinas' Method

Levinas' Method 110 Levinas' Method ADRIAAN PEPERZAK Loyola University of Chicago In a response to questions asked during a discussion in March 1975,? Emmanuel Levinas said the following about the fascination with meth- odological problems that has captivated many philosophers of our century: I do not believe that transparency is possible in method or that philosophy is possible in the manner of transparency. Those who have dedicated their entire lives to methodology have written many books instead of the more interesting books they could have written.2 Yet, clearly no philosopher operates without a method, and at least some methodological awareness is required for a non-naive and justi- fied theory. Aided by explicit hints and remarks found in Levinas' work,? 3 I will here try to sketch some aspects of the method operative in his philosophical writings. ' Philosophy and Judaism Because several commentators have accused Levinas of presenting a religious or a theological view under the name of philosophy, I must begin by briefly delineating the domain of the latter, as Levinas un- derstands it, and indicate why his philosophical works, which he care- fully distinguishes from his religious, exegetic, and theological publications, are indeed philosophical in the most rigorous http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Research in Phenomenology Brill

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1998 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0085-5553
eISSN
1569-1640
DOI
10.1163/156916498X00074
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

110 Levinas' Method ADRIAAN PEPERZAK Loyola University of Chicago In a response to questions asked during a discussion in March 1975,? Emmanuel Levinas said the following about the fascination with meth- odological problems that has captivated many philosophers of our century: I do not believe that transparency is possible in method or that philosophy is possible in the manner of transparency. Those who have dedicated their entire lives to methodology have written many books instead of the more interesting books they could have written.2 Yet, clearly no philosopher operates without a method, and at least some methodological awareness is required for a non-naive and justi- fied theory. Aided by explicit hints and remarks found in Levinas' work,? 3 I will here try to sketch some aspects of the method operative in his philosophical writings. ' Philosophy and Judaism Because several commentators have accused Levinas of presenting a religious or a theological view under the name of philosophy, I must begin by briefly delineating the domain of the latter, as Levinas un- derstands it, and indicate why his philosophical works, which he care- fully distinguishes from his religious, exegetic, and theological publications, are indeed philosophical in the most rigorous

Journal

Research in PhenomenologyBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1998

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