About the BookEmmanuel Levinas (1906-95) placed ethics at the foundation of philosophy; during his life, which spanned almost the entire twentieth century, he witnessed devastating events that could not have been more demanding of that philosophical stance.
Unforeseen History covers the years 1929-92, providing a wide overview of Levinas's work-–especially his views on aesthetics and Judaism--offering examples of his precise thinking at work in small essays, long essays, and interviews.
The earliest essays in Unforeseen History discuss phenomenology, a subject Levinas introduced to a great many French thinkers, including Jean-Paul Sartre. In his prescient 1934 essay "Some Thoughts on the Philosophy of Hitlerism," moreover, he confronted a philosophy that had yet to manifest itself fully in cataclysm.
"We are fortunate to have this excellent translation of these important texts."--Adriaan Peperzak, author of Beyond: The Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas