Hermeneutics of Passivity. A Proposal by Levinas after Totality and Infinity
Keywords:Emmanuel Levinas, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Language, Alterity, Transcendence
How can we speak of an alterity that escapes vision and knowledge ? How can we state an event that is on the hither side of present in which it is manifested and beyond the phenomenon ? Levinas tackles these questions within the Husserlian tradition, and, in particular, the immanent intentionality of sensation and temporality. It is in the direction of the passivity involved in the intentionality that Levinas attempts to think the transcendence of the other as other. Through the analysis of texts immediately before Otherwise than Being or beyond essence, we follow Levinas’s path for thinking about this transcendence as a way of radicalizing the phenomonelogical method. Far from implicating a rupture with the philosophical tradition, Levinas proposition can be understood as a hermeneutics of the primary signification that animates all philosophical efforts : a hermeneutics of passivity.