Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Levinas, Emmanuel (1906–1995)
Emmanuel Levinas was a major figure in postwar French philosophy, although he was born in Lithuania. Significantly, he was Jewish in origin; this was always important in his philosophy, which sometimes referred to his Jewish (although he seems to have been agnostic about the existence of God) and Zionist convictions. He studied with Martin Heidegger in Germany, and his work exhibits deep ambiguity about Heidegger, presumably at least partly due to Heidegger's support for the Nazis in 1933. There could be no Levinasian philosophy without Heidegger, but Heidegger is often the target of Levinas's philosophy, as are G. W. F. Hegel and Edmund Husserl. Levinas's emergence as a French philosopher belongs to the time when the “three H's” where at the center of academic philosophy. He suggested that they belonged to a Greek philosophical ...