Totality and Infinity at 50. Edited By Scott Davidson and Diane Perpich

Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):807-809 (2013)
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© 2013 The Editors of The Philosophical QuarterlyScott Davidson and Diane Perpich set high standards for the assessment of this volume. Fifty years after its publication in 1961, Levinas's Totality and Infinity is going through a ‘midlife crisis’. Scholarship on Levinas ‘sometimes seems to do little more than plow familiar terrain, remaining stuck in the rut of well‐worn interpretations and overused phrases’. One response to a midlife crisis is to exchange one's established partner for a younger model. But the editors do not recommend this solution to the ‘dull routine’ into which our relationship with Levinas has fallen. They believe that the essays they have collected will pep up our relationship with him by venturing ‘along unexplored pathways’. Other thinkers are introduced into the ménage – Karl Marx, Stanley Cavell...



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