Metaphysics and Transcendence

  • Emmanuel Levinas
Part of the Martinus Nijhoff Philosophy Texts book series (MNPT, volume 1)


“The true life is absent.” But we are in the world. Metaphysics arises and is maintained in this alibi. It is turned toward the “elsewhere” and the “otherwise” and the “other.” For in the most general form it has assumed in the history of thought it appears as a movement going forth from a world that is familiar to us, whatever be the yet unknown lands that bound it or that it hides from view, from an “at home” [“chez soi”]* which we inhabit, toward an alien outside-of-oneself [hors-de-soi], toward a yonder.


Ethical Relation Metaphysical Relation True Life Agent Intellect Total Refusal 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

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  • Emmanuel Levinas

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