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Through the Tourniquet of Levinas’ Time

(Original title: Turniketom Levinasovho času)
Filozofia, 2006, vol. 61, No 8, pp. 642-658.
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Basically it is not possible to fully understand Levinas’ ethical axioms without the comprehension of his time scheme. This is to be defended here as it is important to show the time awareness apparent in its relationship to the infinity which is essentially preconditioned by death. The term time does not necessarily include the „conatus essendi“, however, especially the ontological excess extra sui is present. The death and the nihility are not the last possible instances of the question of the being; on the contrary, they are the essential conditions for the constitution of the time. It is not possible for the time to be realized without approach of the Other’s future, within the hypostatic isolation of the subject. The approach to the future and the self-denial, cessation and persistence of the Moment declare their relationship to the neutrality of il y a. It is on the background of this neutrality that subjectivity arises. The time is not the question of subjectivity. The presence of the existing essentially relates to the duration. The nihility is a destructive moment of the duration and it lies in the detachedness of the present moments. In this sense the sociability – the space of time – is actually „contra tempus“.

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