The Holocaust and the Postmodern

Oxford University Press (2005)

Abstract
Robert Eaglestone argues that postmodernism is a response to the Holocaust. He offers a range of new perspectives, including new ways of looking at testimony and at recent Holocaust fiction; explores controversies in Holocaust history; looks at the importance of the Holocaust for recent philosophy; and asks what the Holocaust means for reason, ethics, and for being human
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ISBN(s) 9780199239375   9780199265930
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Chapters BETA
Inexhaustible Meaning, Inextinguishable Voices: Levinas and the Holocaust

This chapter looks in detail at the work of Emmanuel Levinas. It argues that although he does not often discuss the Holocaust explicitly, it is central to Levinas's thought and to postmodern thought more generally defined. The chapter outlines the historical role of the Holocaust in Levina... see more

Cinders of Philosophy, Philosophy of Cinders: Derrida and the Trace of the Holocaust

This chapter argues that Jacques Derrida's work was also greatly influenced by responding to the Holocaust, and that Levinas's idea of the ‘trace’ plays a central role in this. This is argued by following the idea of the trace from Derrida's early work, including Of Grammatology, through L... see more

The Limits of Understanding: Perpetrator Philosophy and Philosophical Histories

Beginning with an encounter described by Primo Levi, this chapter looks at philosophical attempts to explain why the perpetrators did as they did. It begins by analysing a debate over the very possibility of explanation, countering beliefs that no explanation is possible and that philosoph... see more

The Postmodern, the Holocaust, and the Limits of the Human

This chapter looks at the impact of the Holocaust, and Levinas and Derrida's response to it, on the category of the human. Drawing on Heidegger's Letter on Humanism, Giorgio Agamben's work on the Holocaust is analysed in the light of Levinas and Derrida. The issues raised at the start of t... see more

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