Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the problem of language in Levinas’s philosophy regarding methodology. Ethics, for Levinas, happens in everyday speech, where the Other demands a response from me. How he describes this relation presents methodological problems for Levinas, because it is resistant to any kind of theoretical approach, including phenomenology. Any writing about ethics, including Levinas’s, would immediately be its betrayal. This chapter describes Levinas’s account of language in Totality and Infinity, the issues that remain there, which it highlights through Blanchot’s and Derrida’s discussion of Levinas’s work. It also outlines a different way of thinking about the alterity of Other that is suggested in Totality and Infinity but comes to the fore in Otherwise Than Being, which is not as an opposition between speech and the visible, but enunciation (the saying) and the sayable (the said).

Keywords: alterity, Blanchot, Derrida, language, Levinas, phenomenology, speech

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.