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The Face Of The Other: A Comparison Between The Thought Of Emmanuel Levinas, Plato, And Plotinus

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Chapter Summary

There are strong elements for genuine comparison between Emmanuel Levinas, Plato, and later Platonism. Yet the comparison itself seems to place in question Levinas' own criticism of an ontological Western tradition, as well as the commonly accepted view of the nature of substance and essence in Western thought. Levinas insists on the incarnational unity of the only world of experience we have, namely, this world, and this may seem inimical to Platonism with its typical two world structure or later Neoplatonism with its complicated tiers of apparently frozen logical worlds. In a multi-dimensional world, however, the "more" is operative and if we think of Platonism and Aristotelianism, as multi-dimensional, rather than as requiring a "two or three world theory," then clearly part of Levinas' provocation is to make us rethink the history of thought in a new way.

Keywords: Aristotelianism; Emmanuel Levinas; Plato; Platonism



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