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9780823273201: Levinas and the Night of Being: A Guide to Totality and Infinity
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Can we say that metaphysics is over? That we live, as post-phenomenology claims, after "end of metaphysics"? Through a close reading of Levinas's masterpiece Totality and Infinity, Raoul Moati shows that things are much more complicated. Totality and Infinity proposes not so much an alternative to Heidegger's ontology as a deeper elucidation of the meaning of "being" beyond Heidegger's fundamental ontology. The metaphor of the night becomes crucial in order to explore a nocturnal face of the events of being beyond their ontological reduction to the understanding of being. The deployment of being beyond its intentional or ontological reduction coincides with what Levinas calls "nocturnal events." Insofar as the light of understanding hides them, it is only through deformalizing the traditional phenomenological approach to phenomena that Levinas leads us to their exploration and their systematic and mutual implications. Following Levinas's account of these "nocturnal events," Moati elaborates the possibility of what he calls a "metaphysics of society" that cannot be integrated into the deconstructive grasp of the "metaphysics of presence." Ultimately, Levinas and the Night of Being opens the possibility of a revival of metaphysics after the "end of metaphysics".

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"What Moati shows--and this is highly original and convincing--is that Levinas's masterpiece, Totality and Infinity, offers an ontology that is also fully an ethics. Moati makes us read Levinas differently: Thanks to him, we understand that Totality and Infinity, far from being simply a 'Jewish' rewriting of Heidegger's Being and Time, finds its proper place near Spinoza's Ethics. Levinas and the Night of Being is a remarkable feat of philosophical exegesis doubling as the consistent re-creation of a whole conceptual universe."--Jean-Michel Rabate, University of Pennsylvania


"Raoul Moati's Levinas and the Night of Being represents a turning point in Levinasian exegesis. . . . Moati departs from the teleological illusion of reading Levinas's early works against the backdrop of the late material--as if the 'truth' of the former somehow lies hidden within the latter. Against this tendency, Moati rather simply takes up Totality and Infinity and reads it for itself. . . . Moati recognizes the irreducible originality of a project from which we may garner certain insights that are to some extent lost with Otherwise Than Being." --from Jocelyn Benoist's Foreword


"

About the Author:
Raoul Moati is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He has published three books in French, one of which, on Derrida and Searle, has just come out in English from Columbia University Press.

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  • PublisherFordham University Press
  • Publication date2016
  • ISBN 10 0823273202
  • ISBN 13 9780823273201
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages240
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