The Intersubjectivity of Time
Levinas and Infinite Responsibility
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Duquesne University Press
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Time for Levinas is intersubjective. It is the interruption of the other person demanding me to respond, speak, and listen. In this sense, this book is not only a material object one can pick off the shelf, hold, smell, and browse through. It is an occasion, a temporal event. It developed from listening and responding to my teachers, students, colleagues, and...
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Introduction: From My Time to the Time between Us
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Time appears to be at once a constantly familiar nearness and yet a mystery. We have time, save time, spend time, and waste time, but every attempt to demystify time by grasping, thematizing, conceptualizing, and defining it seems to miss the heart of the matter. This book seeks to clarify the meaning of time in the writings of the...
1. Bergson and Heidegger: Overcoming Scientific Time
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The notions of time and temporality play a prominent role in contemporary philosophical thought, and as Richard Cohen observes, these notions are as central today as eternity was in ancient and premodern philosophy.1 In order to fully appreciate the extent to which Levinas’s interpretation of time breaks new grounds, it is crucial to...
2. On the Way to Intersubjective Time
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Levinas presents an understanding of time that in many significant ways preserves the model of time provided by Bergson and Heidegger, who find the locus of time in the human structure of existence. As discussed in the previous chapter, Bergson and Heidegger were among the first to break away from the traditional interpretation of time, to...
3. Intersubjective Time: Fecundity
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Levinas presents an interpretation of time that is not merely a different way for considering the topic but an entirely new approach. For Levinas time is neither egological nor cosmological, neither interior nor exterior (see TI 290), neither Heideggerian-Bergsonian nor Aristotelian. His criticism of both the Aristotelian, traditional analysis...
4. Intersubjective Time: Diachrony
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In his later thought Levinas abandons his view of fecundity and provides a different point of view for understanding time. In texts such as Otherwise than Being and “Diachrony and Representation” he discusses time in terms of the opposition between diachrony and synchrony. Although this approach to the question of time is unlike...
5. From Ethical Time to Political Time
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The view of intersubjective time offered by Levinas can be considered as a way to satisfy the discontent with the Bergsonian-Heideggerian egological, synchronic time. This is particularly relevant to diachronic time, which is successful in going beyond the limited viewpoint of the individual. But does Levinas actually succeed in presenting a view...
Afterthoughts: From Cronos to Moses: Bringing Together Levinas’s Views of Time
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This book has depicted Levinas’s view of time as continuing the views presented by Bergson and Heidegger while going beyond them. I have discussed the various perspectives Levinas undertakes in his approach to the question of time, arguing that a coherent and consistent structure of time can be extracted from his thought. Even...
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Publication Year: 2013