Levinas’s Interpretation of Creation Ex Nihilo
In “Creature Discomforts”, Jeffrey Hanson argues that, contrary to other interpretations, the trope of creation ex nihilo plays, with some minor changes and development, a significant role throughout Levinas’s writing rather than being abandoned after Totalityand Infinity. Levinas uses the trope of creation ex nihilo in a primarily ethical, rather than ontological, sense: first, to underscore the absolute and immemorial character of the ethical demand to which we are called by the Other and, second, to stress that the singularity of the ethical subject cannot be absorbed in any totality: “only creation establishes a truly separate subject.”
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