By Michael Fagenblat
"I am now not a very Jewish thinker," stated Emmanuel Levinas, "I am only a thinker." This ebook argues opposed to the belief, affirmed by means of Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and another way Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. by way of studying Levinas's philosophical works in the course of the prism of Judaic texts and concepts, Michael Fagenblat argues that what Levinas known as "ethics" is as a lot a hermeneutical product wrought from the Judaic background as a chain of phenomenological observations. deciphering the Levinas's philosophy of Judaism inside of a Heideggerian and Pauline framework, Fagenblat makes use of biblical, rabbinic, and Maimonidean texts to supply sustained interpretations of the philosopher's paintings. eventually he demands a reconsideration of the relation among culture and philosophy, and of the that means of religion after the dying of epistemology.
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Extra resources for A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas's Philosophy of Judaism (Cultural Memory in the Present)
The hermeneutical assumptions governing my reading of the Judaic character of Levinas’s philosophy are above all indebted to Martin Heideg ger, for it was he who made the idea of philosophy as hermeneutics possible. He showed that philosophy itself is situated within a tradition that determines the very horizons of thought and that philosophy is determined from the ground up by the interpretative character of thought itself. It is with Heidegger that Western philosophy disburdens itself of the ideal of an independent, atemporal field of knowledge (the “metaphysics of presence”) that the philosopher could cognize from his view from nowhere.
More perplexing is Putnam’s conclusion: “He [Levinas] isn’t trying to emulate St. ” 67 Perhaps he is not trying to emulate the apostle to the Gentiles, but he is surely doing so. Putnam’s attempt to disanalogize Levinas and Paul only highlights their proximity. ’” 68 But this disanalogy involves a mistake and an irony. The mistake is to think that Paul’s universalizing of Judaism sought to convert the Gentiles to the law. (A more common mistake goes the other way: Paul sought to abrogate the law for Jews and Gentiles alike.
The very first question in the debate following Levinas’s commentary on the Septuagint passages cited the other Rabbinic texts comparing that translation to the Golden Calf ! ”23 Gibbs and Batnitzky, like Moyn, raise a crucial issue, not only for the interpretation of Levinas but Levinas’s New Creation also for the consideration of the very idea of a philosophy of Judaism. For example, when Maimonides claims that the angels referred to in scripture are, in truth, causal agents that Aristotle calls separate intellects, we are prompted, like Gibbs and Batnitzky, to ask, But who then needs angels?