Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence

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9781442642843: Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence
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French philosopher and Talmudic commentator Emmanuel Levinas (1906–1995) has received considerable attention for his influence on philosophical and religious thought. In this book, Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani provides the first examination of the applicability of Emmanuel Levinas’ work to social and political movements. Investigating his ethics of responsibility and his critique of the Western liberal imagination, Tahmasebi-Birgani advances the moral, political, and philosophical debates on the radical implications of Levinas’ work.

Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence is the first book to closely consider the affinity between Levinas’ ethical vision and Mohandas Gandhi’s radical yet non-violent political struggle. Situating Levinas’ insights within a transnational, transcontinental, and global framework, Tahmasebi-Birgani highlights Levinas’ continued relevance in an age in which violence is so often resorted to in the name of “justice” and “freedom.”

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About the Author:

Victoria Tahmasebi-Birgani is a Women and Gender Studies Assistant Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.

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Emmanuel Levinas and the Politics of Non-Violence is valuable in that it adds to a still limited amount of published work that tackles head on one of the greatest problems in Levinasian studies: the relation of face-to-face ethics to politics. The author develops an original argument that links Levinas’ concept of man’s ‘substitution’ and gratuitously infinite responsibility for his neighbour’s suffering to a politics of ‘justice’ via the idea of ‘non-violent ethico-political praxis.’”

(Marinos Diamantides, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London)

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