Levinas and Adorno: Universalizing the Jew after Auschwitz

Abstract
The paper uses a comparison of Levinas and Adorno to raise certain questions about the former's thought. Both thinkers utilize Jewish experience as a trope for what eludes systematic conceptualization (particularly the conceptualization of history): the universalization and varying degrees of abstraction required to make this move form the content of the paper's central analysis. However, this analysis is framed in a wider argument about the way in which Levinas is an innovative thinker, the problems this innovation raises for the question of the eternal relevance of his ideas, and the influence a unique aspect of his thought has had on contemporary philosophers who seek to update him.
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