Temporality of the Face-to-Face in Levinas' ethics

Irina Poleshchuk

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


    This thesis focuses on a connection between temporality and ethics in the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. The face-to-face situation with other human being (the Other) has an exceptionally temporal dimension. I argue that temporality of the subject is structured in accordance with the otherness of a human being.
    The primary feeling of otherness (or pra-impression) forms the present, the future, and the past not as prolonged present found in the flow of consciousness but as ruptured temporal moments. The source of this rupture lies in the Other which appeals to the subject.
    The pra-impression reveals a subject as being open to the Other. In the face-to-face situation with the Other the pra-impression is an essential and constitutive force: it fractures the moment of the present, questions subjectivity and generates a new meaning of temporality. As a result a responsible subject is revealed; responsibility for the Other marks a latent birth of the subject which is prior to any origin of subjectivity, it discloses a meaning of time that does not belong to the subject but is found in the face the other human being. In this study I suggest that pra-impression finds its productive force in language, the function of the feminine, welcome and maternity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    Print ISBNs978-952-10-5863-9
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
    MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

    Fields of Science

    • 611 Philosophy

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