To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas
Purdue Series in the History of Philosophy
Note About the Online Edition
Nearly two decades ago, To the Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas was published, and as its title declared, its purpose was to introduce the reader into the major themes of Levinas’s work. Through a combination of close readings and primary texts and translations, the author hoped to provide a set of conceptual keys that would assist new readers in orienting themselves to Levinas’s difficult writings.
Since its publication, interest in Levinas has grown exponentially: many important studies have been written, and Levinas’s influence has extended to a variety of different fields and questions of philosophy and the human sciences. The secondary literature has matured and become more sophisticated; it now presupposes a reader with some familiarity with the major concepts and concerns with which Levinas wrestled.
It would be impossible today, therefore, to write an introduction for today’s readers of Levinas without taking account of the vast body of literature that has explored Levinas’s work in the past two decades, while relating them carefully back to Levinas’s texts. The modest revision of the first chapter in the online edition presented here was not intended to accomplish that task. It was intended rather to amend some of the defects of the original work. Although it does not address itself to the rich developments of Levinas scholarship, it might still function as an introduction through its close reading of Levinas’s programmatic essay, which contains the main lines of Totality and Infinity, and its elucidation of relations to Plato, Heidegger, and some other luminaries of the philosophical tradition.
The rest of the online version is identical to the 1993 edition published by Purdue University Press (ISBN 978-1-55753-024-0). Because it was necessary to typeset the new first chapter to correspond with the original publication, index entries referring to the first 37 pages of the book may not be accurate.
Adriaan Peperzak, University of Chicago
Purdue University Press
West Lafayette, Indiana
Levinas, Heidegger, Philosophy
Continental Philosophy | History of Philosophy
Peperzak, Adriaan, "To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas" (1993). Purdue University Press Books. 20.