Wandering among shadows: The discordance of time in Levinas and Bergson

Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (4):371-392 (2010)
Abstract
One of the earliest examples of articulating the “discordance of time”—a theme that serves as a guiding thread woven throughout much of the re-engagement with time that is characteristic of continental philosophy—can be found in a series of essays written by Levinas in the aftermath of World War II. I show how these essays derive from a set of key texts by Bergson and how Bergson already anticipated the distinctive ways of conceptualizing the movement of time that are advanced by Levinas in his early essays. Nevertheless, as I will show, Levinas chooses not to acknowledge this Bergsonian anticipation of his theory of time, despite his recognition, repeated throughout many texts and interviews, of the influence of Bergson on the formation of his own thought. I conclude by reflecting on the complexity of the Bergsonian inheritance in Levinas's philosophy of time
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