Studia Phaenomenologica 20:263-280 (2020)

Levinas’ relationship to Platonism is ambiguous. In Totality and Infinity, indeed, references to Plato’s writings are multiple and Levinas depicts Plato as following two diverging paths. On the one hand, Levinas considers Plato’s writings to be works that consecrate the primacy of identity over difference, of the Same over the Other. On the other hand, Platonism is presented as a philosophy of absolute transcendence due to its refusal to make the Good a simple ontological principle and to its attempt to free the Good from all forms of totality. The present study aims to show that, although Levinas criticizes the first path taken by Plato, he conceives of himself as partially in line with Plato’s philosophy of absolute transcendence, albeit in a paradoxical form. In this way, Levinas understands the meaning of the Platonic approach in an original way.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  Zeta Books
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DOI 10.5840/studphaen20202012
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