Between Levinas and Heidegger

Edited by John E. Drabinski & Eric S. Nelson

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Ethics
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438452586, 276 pages, July 2015
Hardcover : 9781438452579, 276 pages, October 2014

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Table of contents

John E. Drabinski and Eric S. Nelson
Part I. Immanence and Transcendence
1. Critique, Power, and Ontological Violence: The Problem of "First" Philosophy
Ann Murphy
2. Dreaming Otherwise than Icarus: Heidegger, Levinas, and the Secularization of Transcendence
Philip J. Maloney
3. Heidegger, Levinas, and the Other of History
Eric S. Nelson
Part II. Temporalities
4. The Sincerity of the Saying
Didier Franck, Translated by Robert Vallier

5. Time's Disquiet and Unrest: the Affinity between Heidegger and Levinas
Emilia Angelova
6. Originary Inauthenticity: On Heidegger's Sein und Zeit
Simon Critchley
Part III. Subjectivities

7. Levinas and Heidegger: Ethics or Ontology?
Françoise Dastur

8. Useless Sacrifice
Robert Bernasconi
9. The Question of Responsibility between Levinas and Heidegger
François Raffoul
Part IV. Other Others
10. Displaced: Phenomenology and Belonging in Levinas and Heidegger
Peter E. Gordon
11. Which Other, Whose Alterity? The Human after Humanism
Krzysztof Ziarek

12. Elsewhere of Home
John E. Drabinski
List of Contributors

Investigates the philosophical relationship between Levinas and Heidegger in a nonpolemical context, engaging some of philosophy’s most pressing issues.


Although both Levinas and Heidegger drew inspiration from Edmund Husserl's phenomenological method and helped pave the way toward the post-structuralist movement of the late twentieth century, very little scholarly attention has been paid to the relation of these two thinkers. There are plenty of simple—and accurate—oppositions and juxtapositions: French and German, ethics and ontology, and so on. But there is also a critical intersection between Levinas and Heidegger on some of the most fundamental philosophical questions: What does it mean to be, to think, and to act in late modern life and culture? How do our conceptions of subjectivity, time, and history both reflect the condition of this historical moment and open up possibilities for critique, resistance, and transformation? The contributors to this volume take up these questions by engaging the ideas of Levinas and Heidegger relating to issues of power, violence, secularization, history, language, time, death, sacrifice, responsibility, memory, and the boundary between the human and humanism.

John E. Drabinski is Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College. He is the author of several books, including Sensibility and Singularity: The Problem of Phenomenology in Levinas, also published by SUNY Press. Eric S. Nelson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the coeditor (with François Raffoul) of Rethinking Facticity, also published by SUNY Press.


"The political background to the debate between Martin Heidegger and Emmanuel Levinas has often distorted the philosophical dispute … Fortunately, this volume approaches the debate with a clear view of the philosophical issue. It avoids polemically misconstruing Heidegger's thought without making light of Levinas's modification of it. " — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews