Thinking Difference with Heidegger and Levinas

Truth and Justice

By Rozemund Uljée

Subjects: Continental Philosophy, Heidegger, Philosophy, Phenomenology
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary French Thought
Paperback : 9781438478807, 294 pages, January 2021
Hardcover : 9781438478814, 294 pages, June 2020

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Table of contents

List of Abbreviations


1. Considering Being and Truth in Heidegger's Sein und Zeit

2. Being and the Possibility of Transcendence

3. Totality Interrupted: Levinas's Totalité et infini as Response to Hegel

4. Thinking the Question of Presence in Heidegger

5. The Question of Metaphysics and Being's Justice in Heidegger's Nietzsche

6. The Time of Justice


Works Cited

Highlights the extent to which the two thinkers share a common philosophical framework, while also demonstrating how Levinas shifts the orientation of philosophical thinking from truth to justice.


Tracing the relationship between truth and justice as articulated by Heidegger and Levinas, Rozemund Uljée presents the relation between the two thinkers as a subtle, profound, and complex rapport, which includes both their proximity and radical difference. This rapport is conceived not as a confrontation, but rather as a transformation, as Levinas's notion of justice does not renounce Heidegger's account of truth and its deployment. Thinking Difference with Heidegger and Levinas shows how the ethical relation transforms the essence and task of philosophy in its entirety, since it shifts the orientation of philosophy and the task of thinking from its concern with truth as ground or foundation to a question of justice. As a result, philosophy is no longer riveted to Being and its truth, but answers to the call for justice and must be conceived of as infinite commencement, where its impossibility to totalize meaning ensures that it remains open to the alterity of transcendence.

Rozemund Uljée is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Philosophy at Leiden University in the Netherlands.


"The notoriously difficult primary texts under consideration in Uljée's study become manageable in this methodical, careful, and engaging work. " — CHOICE

"Uljée develops an original and little-studied point of the Heidegger-Levinas encounter. By giving a first-rate reading and interpretation of the problem of the presence of Being, she shows how, for Levinas, this leads to a break with the thinking of Being and prepares for the problem of the truth of justice and the solicitation of the face of the other person in history—and how, for Levinas, this break is already implied in Heidegger. This is a book of immediate importance for scholars on Heidegger and Levinas. " — Emilia Angelova, Concordia University