To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas

To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas


Download Frontmatter (182 KB)

Download Chapter 1 (Updated) (4.0 MB)

Download Chapter 2 (1.8 MB)

Download Chapter 3 (758 KB)

Download Chapter 4 (1.9 MB)

Download Chapter 5 (4.7 MB)

Download Chapter 6 (1.4 MB)

Download Bibliography (359 KB)

Download Index (Entries for pp. 1-37 not accurate) (222 KB)


Purdue Series in the History of Philosophy

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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

October 2010



Publication Date

Winter 11-15-1993


Purdue University Press


West Lafayette, Indiana


Levinas, Heidegger, Philosophy


Continental Philosophy | History of Philosophy


This book is also available in a 1993 print edition, however the revised first chapter is only available online.

To The Other: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas