Proper Names

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Combining elements from Heidegger’s philosophy of “being-in-the-world” and the tradition of Jewish theology, Levinas has evolved a new type of ethics based on a concept of “the Other” in two different but complementary aspects. He describes his encounters with those philosophers and literary authors (most of them his contemporaries) whose writings have most significantly contributed to the construction of his own philosophy of “Otherness”: Agnon, Buber, Celan, Delhomme, Derrida, Jabès, Kierkegaard, Lacroix, Laporte, Picard, Proust, Van Breda, Wahl, and, most notably, Blanchot.

At the same time, Levinas’s own texts are inscriptions and documents of those encounters with “Others” around which his philosophy is turning. Thus the texts simultaneously convey an immediate experience of how his intellectual position emerged and how it is put into practice. A third potential function of the book is that it unfolds the network of references and persons in philosophical debates since Kierkegaard.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Perhaps the names of persons whose saying signifies a face—proper names in the middle of all these common names and commonplaces—can resist the dissolution of meaning and help us to speak." —From the author’s Foreword
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804723527
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 998,226
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Emmanuel Levinas is Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris, Sorbonne. Among his many books is Outside the Subject (Stanford, 1994).

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Table of Contents

Bibliographical Information
Proper Names
Foreword 3
1 Poetry and Resurrection: Notes on Agnon 7
2 Martin Buber and the Theory of Knowledge 17
3 Dialogue with Martin Buber 36
4 Paul Celan: From Being to the Other 40
5 Jeanne Delhomme: Penelope, or Modal Thought 47
6 Jacques Derrida: Wholly Otherwise 55
7 Edmond Jabes Today 63
8 Kierkegaard: Existence and Ethics 66
9 A Propos of"Kierkegaard vivant" 75
10 Jean Lacroix: Philosophy and Religion 80
11 Roger Laporte and the Still Small Voice 90
12 Max Picard and the Face 94
13 The Other in Proust 99
14 Father Herman Leo Van Breda 106
15 Jean Wahl and Feeling 110
16 Nameless 119
On Maurice Blanchot
1 The Poet's Vision 127
2 The Servant and Her Master 140
3 A Conversation with Andre Dalmas 150
4 Exercises on "The Madness of the Day" 156
Notes 171
Index 189
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