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Levinas's Symbiotic Phenomenology of Infinity and Totality


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11081

Levinas's Symbiotic Phenomenology of Infinity and Totality

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dc.contributor.author Wood, Christian
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-03T19:05:09Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-03T19:05:09Z
dc.date.issued 2010-09-03
dc.date.submitted July 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11081
dc.description.abstract I present a novel interpretation of Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenology wherein I argue that his seemingly antagonistic and exclusive notions of "totality" and "infinity" are best understood, rather, as symbiotic, interdependent, and mutually conditioning. My demarche uses close textual analysis, constant reference to Levinas's (admittedly sparse) comments on philosophical method, and an important return to, and then departure from, Cartesian thought in order to advance my thesis that infinity and totality are essentially intertwined and "symbiotic." As such, they are not essentially opposed in any sort of preferential, evaluative, or eliminative sense, to name some prominent (and misguided) caricatures that regrettably pervade many aspects of Levinas scholarship, whether pro or contra Levinas. I use this insight to show that certain Levinas commentators misunderstand the meaning of, and relationship between, "totality" and "infinity." Lastly, as against those who claim that Levinas essentially has no philosophical argument in such works as Totality and Infinity, I show that Levinas's argumentative rigor and strategy is best understood by way of a carefully nuanced and textually documented interpretation of the way that "infinity conditions totality." en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Philosophy en_US
dc.subject phenomenology en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Levinas, Emmanuel--Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Phenomenology
dc.subject.lcsh Infinite
dc.subject.lcsh Whole and parts (Philosophy)
dc.title Levinas's Symbiotic Phenomenology of Infinity and Totality en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.description.degree Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department University of New Mexico. Dept. of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.advisor Thomson, Iain
dc.description.committee-member Bussanich, John
dc.description.committee-member Taber, John
dc.description.committee-member Bishop, Steve

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