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date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that Levinas’s thought is a response to the Holocaust. Although the chapter covers Levinas’s prewar and postwar biography in relation to the genocide, the central claim of this chapter is that, while Levinas rarely mentions the Holocaust explicitly, it is ubiquitously implicit in his work. The chapter demonstrates that it is the unspoken reference for the profoundest aims of his philosophy, apparent in the structure of his writing, in the themes to which his work attends (the chapter singles out rhetoric, hatred, war), even in the choices of specific words (for example, “good soup” or “bread”) or metaphors.

Keywords: Emmanuel Levinas, Ethics Holocaust, Otherwise Than Being, Totality and Infinity, Auschwitz, Martin Heidegger, Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, Jonathan Littell

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