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Vladimir JankélévitchThe Time of Forgiveness$
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Aaron T. Looney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262960

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262960.001.0001

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First Philosophy

First Philosophy

Chapter:
(p.12) 1 First Philosophy
Source:
Vladimir Jankélévitch
Author(s):

Aaron T. Looney

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823262960.003.0002

This chapter clarifies several of Jankélévitch's core conceptions, including the instant and the interval, intuition, almost-nothing, and the I-know-not-what (je-ne-sais-quoi). Inspired by both the dynamism of Bergson’s philosophy of life and the biblical creation narrative, Jankélévitch conceives acts of creation as a third category between being and nothingness. For Jankélévitch, transcendence—the wholly other—is beyond being, essence, truth, and value. This chapter explores what Jankélévitch sees as the limits of understanding and explicates his priority of the deed over knowledge. It demonstrates that for Jankélévitch, as for Levinas, first philosophy is ethics and that he unifies the message of the Gospels with the moral-philosophical insights of Kant by showing the good will to be one and the same as the loving will.

Keywords:   Almost-Nothing, Bergson, Creation, Instant, Interval, Intuition, Good Will, Je-ne-sais-quoi, Transcendence, Wholly Other

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