Emmanuel Levinas: Being in the Principle of War (English Subtitles)

source: Eidos84 2011年6月10日
"Being in the Principle of War", section one of "Penser Aujourd'hui: Emmanuel Levinas" (1991).
Interviewed by Catherine Chalier, Levinas first explains what brought him to philosophy and ontology, and his early engagement with Heidegger. In relation to the experience of Being, Levinas discusses "the sadness of (self-)interestedness" (la tristesse de l'intéressement), which is a product of contemporary experience. Levinas makes the distinction between self-interestedness and "disinterestedness'' (le desintéressement); disinterestedness is "to lose interest in oneself", and is peculiar to human being. For Levinas, the idea of disinterestedness is essential to his philosophy, and can also be called "holiness." Finally, in response to the claim that values of holiness are largely disengaged from historical reality, Levinas states that, on the contrary, his philosophy is deeply concerned with history, and the experience of holiness, in historical periods succeeding Biblical times, is precisely "the rationality of history".
Many thanks to my good friend Salmon Philippe [salmonfishandships] for assistance with the more difficult aspects of translation.

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