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NOTES Notes to Introduction 1. I am not denying the importance of Heidegger’s rejection of a “worldless ” self, which Merleau-Ponty also rejects, to the point of denying, in the preface to Phenomenology of Perception (New York: The Humanities Press, 1962) that there is such a thing as an inner man (distinct from the world, at least). But Husserl’s “Ineinander” and Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophical use of such terms as “the inside of the outside” to describe vision, and his assertion that “reversibility” is “the ultimate truth” in The Visible and the Invisible (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1968) demonstrate the ongoing vitality, if not validity, of the inside/outside figure. 2. An account of the general reception of Levinas’s philosophy in this country and elsewhere is outside the purview the present work, which seeks instead to give a general presentation of that philosopher. But I should like to nuance the contrarian account I have given of Levinas’s thought by adding that discussion of his work in France and this country is lively, as attested by an increasing number of publications of journal articles and books; his thought is often discussed in existential and phenomenological circles, and there is an upsurge of interest in Israel (translations into Hebrew, international conferences in Jerusalem) and in Jewish academic circles in this country. 3. David Bannon, “Une Herméneutique de la Sollicitation,” in Les Cahiers de La Nuit Surveillée, Emmanuel Lévinas (Lagrasse: Verdier, 1984), 100. 4. Robert Bernasconi, in “Almost Always More Than Philosophy Proper,” (Research in Phenomenology 30 [2000]: 1–11) argues that phenomenology, in seeking the universal through the singular and the concrete, has moved philosophy toward “the recognition that the metaphysical ontic is irreducible ,” a position designated as the basis of “metontology.” This means that phenomenology has been right “to take seriously what claims thinking — corporeality, language, history, experience — without immediately 243 SMITH_F24_243-263 3/2/05 7:24 PM Page 243 244 Notes to Pages 3–14 identifying these things as limitations or as cause for worries about relativism .” This opens the way for a new relationship between philosophy and culture, or “the nonphilosophical sources from which it arises.” Bernasconi concludes by citing Levinas specifically as a prime candidate for this new way of hearing the philosophical voice. Levinas’s protest at being labeled a “Jewish” thinker was motivated by his reluctance to be read in a way that would “limit or deny the universal pretensions of all thought.” But “once it is recognized that it is a part of the strength of a thinking that is rooted in a language, a culture, and a tradition, however hybrid or nomadic, then these labels can be heard differently.” It is in this spirit that the present work avoids the temptation to reduce Levinas’s œuvre to “philosophy proper.” 5. EL 38, quoted from Jerzy Jarzebski, L’Évolution de l’image des confins dans la littérature polonaise après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, in Daniel Beauvois, Les Confins de l’ancienne Pologne (Lille: Presses Universitaires, 1988). 6. EL 50. 7. For more details on this period of Levinas’s career, see E 115–21. 8. EL 125. The bulk of my information on Levinas’s career has been gleaned from Anne-Marie Lescourret’s biography. 9. DLT 10. 10. CPP 100. 11. TAI 24; TI xii. 12. For a rapid overview of this critique, see E 122–23. 13. In answer to a question about the relationship between his philosophical and his “Judaic-Talmudic” writings, Levinas answered: “The difference is in the manner. What is communicated in the Jewish writings by warmth must be communicated in philosophy by light.” ELSA 98. 14. ELVT 282. My translation. 15. Although in my rough periodization I set out from the il y a, it must be borne in mind that the concept of the il y a (the impersonal, the tiers exclu) remains a constant feature of Levinas’s thought, constituting a subsection of the latter part (162–65) of OB. The il y a, obiter dictu, is totally distinct from Levinas’s considerably later coinage and concept of illéïté, which refers to a “Third Person” beyond being. See PA 111 ff. 16. There is an obvious objection to using the term “realm” for the “otherwise than being;” Levinas himself refers to it as “an-archic,” i.e. without rule or principle or beginning. Bearing this impropriety in mind, and with the...


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