Existence and Existents. Emmanuel Emmanuel Levinas in Continental Philosophy Essence and Existence, In: Studies in Ontology APQ Monographs. Light 46 Existence without a World 52 1. Exotism 52 2. Existence without Existents 57 The Hypostasis 65 1. Insomnia. 65 2. Position 67 3. On the Way to Time. Prior to the ethical turnFirst published in , and written mostly during Levinas’s imprisonment during World War II, this work provides the.

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Sense is that by which what is exterior is already adjusted to and refers to what is interior. We can also call it the musicality of sensation, for in music this way a quality can divest itself of all objectivity existencf and consequently of all subjectivity — seems completely natural. He looked at himself in a mirror and saw himself. Here the taking up of existence in the instant becomes directly perceptible.

They do not merge into one. Attention presupposes the freedom of the ego which directs it; the vigilance of insomnia which keeps our eyes open has no subject. Is it possible for an existence that continually passes away to attain to exiatents and worth?

This latter will be understood in confusion with beings. In art, sensa- tion figures as a new element. The haunting spectre, the phantom, constitutes the very element of horror. In existencd random agitation of caresses there is the admission that access is impossible, violence fails, possession is refused.

Existence and Existents

It is an impossibility of following through, a constant and increasing lag between being and what it remains attached to, like a hand little by little letting slip what it is trying to hold on to, letting go even while it tightens its grip. This happiness is not the content- ment of an entity stabilized into a substance. But the notion of the struggle for existence is not enough to grasp the relationship of an existent with its existence as deeply as we would like.


There is, in general, without it mattering what there is, without our being able to fix a substantive to this term. Is not indolence the pleasure of spending the morning in bed?

Indolence concerns beginning, as though existence were not there right off, but preexisted the beginning in an inhibition. The obscurity of the other sensations is due to the absence of a horizon about them, to the surprise they are for us when we take them as they are in themselves. There is no determined being, anything can count for anything existsnts.


Light, whether it emanates from the sensible or from the intelligible sun, is since Plato said to be a condition for all beings. When the I is the seat of this good will, when thoughts and acts are not the masks of an I that is incapable of laying itself bare, then a critic upon finishing a novel declares: We are not being duped by the verbal repetition.

To interrupt what was really begun is to end it in a failure, and not to abolish the beginning. The movement of an action turns to its point of departure at the same time that it proceeds toward its goal, and thus possesses itself while it is.

Existence and Existents by Emmanuel Levinas

Sign in Create an account. The Ontological Realism of Gustav Bergmann. We breathe for the sake of breathing, eat and drink for the sake of eating and drinking, we take shelter for the sake of taking shelter, we study to satisfy our curiosity, we take a walk for the walk. Their whole reality is made up of that refusal. And it is the attraction of the future — existdnts the being possibly to come and the nothingness certainly to come — that temporalizes our existence.


In the world the other is indeed not treated like a thing, but is never separated from things. And especially, the conception of action which is being presupposed in this image of a struggle with matter is a notion which philosophers have taken as purely and simply given.

Levinas contra Heidegger – a phenomenological examination of human existence as the flight from Being rather than a seeking towards it. Thus subjectivity comes to appear to itself as a being that posits itself and answers for itself without limit, is absolutely exxistents in unconditioned self-responsibility.

Indeed, in the original preface Levinas had called it a preparatory work, and admitted that due to historical circumstances his study did not and could not take into account the work of Sartre. Where may I hide? But it also is not a material impossibility of performing an action that is beyond our strength, or the consciousness of that impossibility, since it can be overcome, and the certainty of this possibility constitutes the bad conscience of indolence.

Primitive men live before all Revela- tion, before the light comes. Apr 12, Sara Sheikhi rated it really liked it Shelves: One has to do something, one has to aspire after and undertake [ This inquiry is phenomenological, in the sense that it proceeds by a descriptive effort to get at the essence — the inner process — of phenomena as they show themselves to the mode of subjec- tivity first receptive to them. The refusal is in weariness.

As a “preparatory” study, Existence and Existents introduces the major themes and concerns that occupied Levinas throughout his career.

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