Pandemic Reading of Emmanuel Lévinas. Face under the Protective Mask Cover Image

Pandemijsko čitanje Emmanuela Lévinasa. Lice pod zaštitnom maskom
Pandemic Reading of Emmanuel Lévinas. Face under the Protective Mask

Author(s): Daniel Miščin
Subject(s): Contemporary Philosophy, Existentialism, Philosophy of Religion, Health and medicine and law
Published by: Hrvatsko Filozofsko Društvo
Keywords: Emmanuel Lévinas; COVID-19 pandemic; face; transcendence; Moses;

Summary/Abstract: The face is undoubtedly one of the key concepts in the thought of Emmanuel Lévinas. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought several aspects of the face into crisis, the article explores the possibilities of a pandemic interpretation of Lévinas’ understanding of the concept of the face. By placing the well-known Lévinas’ statement of the primacy of ethics over ontology in the context of his critique of Buber’s personalism, Lévinas’ understanding of the transcendence of the Other opens up a wide space for a pandemic interpretation of his thought. This context affirms the possibility of a reversal in the understanding of the role of the protective face mask. That mask becomes a visible sign of the transcendence of the Other’s face. Therefore, the pandemic distance from the face of the Other does not change the ontology of the face, but actually deepens it. A similar conclusion can be drawn from Lévinas’ commentary on the prohibition of the visibility of the face of God in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament.

  • Issue Year: 43/2023
  • Issue No: 02/170
  • Page Range: 297-308
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Croatian