Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (3):426-438 (2018)

Christopher Cohoon
St. John's College, Santa Fe
As a corrective to readers who come to Levinas only for the ethics of the face, it is sometimes pointed out that before Levinas was a philosopher of ethics he was a philosopher of transcendence. Yet we can go further: before Levinas was a philosopher of transcendence—of escape—he was a philosopher of inescapability and, in particular, of bodily inescapability. This idea, which I call “corporeal facticity,” was introduced in what is perhaps Levinas’s first piece of original philosophy, the remarkable and perversely titled 1934 essay “Reflections on the Philosophy of Hitlerism.” Inherent in embodied existence, Levinas observes, there is an “intuition” of self-“enchainment” or “adherence,” of being not merely “in”...
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DOI 10.5325/jspecphil.32.3.0426
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