"...As if We were Refugees. That is, perhaps, the Ultimate Form of Nobility" Emmanuel Levinas
Ton Danenberg
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This article addresses the theme of marginalization in the light of the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995). His major works, Totality and Infinity and Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, provide the main bases of this article’s reflection on marginalization. They present Levinas’ philosophical thought as a radical critique of modern philosophy’s notion of subjectivity in terms of “I think” and “I can”. In these times of modernity it is not modern philosophy’s notion of subjectivity, rather the human person’s humanity that is truly at stake.For Levinas, subjectivity means the I that is answerable for the Other, or that is“one-for-the-other.” Ethics, according to Levinas, is the “first philosophy.” It is,for that matter, the critic of theory and philosophy. It goes deeper than any social theory or political philosophy of marginalization. It is of utmost importance,“to know whether the state, society, law, and power are required because man is a beast to his neighbour (homo homini lupus) or because I am responsible for my fellow.” In contrast to the Greek “love of wisdom” the Jewish experience of marginalization reminds us of a much older wisdom, the “wisdom of love.”

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