Emmanuel Levinas and the prophetic voice of postmodernity

Without a doubt, Levinas' principal concern in philosophy is how the self meets the Other. His magnum opus, Totality and Infinity, bears the subtitle, An Essay on Exterior- ity. Exteriority refers to a region beyond the horizons of the self, that which "is" beyond transcendental subjectivity. If there are such "beings" as other selves, that is, other subjects, they exist out there in the exterior. But if knowledge is confined to the interior—as Levinas says it must be—then the Other cannot be known. He writes, "There is in knowledge, in the final account, an impossibility of escaping the self; hence sociality cannot have the same structure as knowledge" (EI 60).
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