The Epiphany of the Face: Levinas and the Ethical-Religious Attitude

  • Bernardo Andrade (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific


Talk at the Annual Graduate Student Conference in Philosophy, San Diego State University

Emmanuel Levinas was often perplexed by accounts of people who, despite their immersion in the cruelest dehumanization, felt a sudden and unforeseen urge to perform acts of goodness. These occurrences, which Levinas witnessed both in the battlefield and in works of fiction, led him to develop a radically innovative account of the promptings that lead one to act ethically. This paper attempts to answer, in light of Levinas’ philosophy, two questions regarding this ethical prompting: how it is caused, and why we should lend an ear to it. This leads us to the central objective of this paper, namely, to defend, by drawing on John Hick’s philosophy of religion and Paul Tillich’s definition of symbolic language, that a religious foundation resides at the bottom of Levinas’ answer to both of these questions. In his philosophy, the ethical is founded in a religious attitude.
PeriodOct 2015
Held atSan Diego State University, United States
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Levinas