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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Levinas’s account of time begins with the body’s role in temporalization. This role privatizes time, making the time between different embodied subjects diachronic or nonsynchronizable. From this, he speaks of the temporality of our relation to the Other as infinite, that is, as a function of our not being able to synchronize ourselves with the Other, of our not being able to catch up with the Other, to grasp her completely in our relations with her. This provides him with a basis to describe the temporality of our sexual relations to the Other and the children produced. The result is a description of the infinity of time in terms of the succession of generations. The culminating point of Levinas’s account is his treatment of the temporality of forgiveness. This is a forgiveness that, utilizing the generational renewal of embodied time, makes humanity capable of forgiving wrongs without forgetting them.

Keywords: temporality, embodiment, interiority, sensibility, alterity, forgiveness

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