David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy in the Contemporary World 7 (1):27-34 (2000)
In the following paper I shall outline a number of preliminary ideas concerning the relationship between the Holocaust and certain themes which emerge in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. As this relationship is distinctly twofold, my analysis will include both a textual and a rather more speculative component. That is to say, while I shall argue that reading Levinas specifically as a post-Holocaust thinker clarifies a number of his philosophical and rhetorical motifs, so, in turn, does this challenging body of work offer a means by which to re-think both the horror and ethical significance of the Holocaust itself. During the course of my argument I shall additionally refer to the writings of Primo Levi, Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger through whom I hope also to establish the central role guilt and confession play in Levinas’s own thinking.
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