Wednesday 12 January 2011

Existential Pioneers 10. Emmanuel Lévinas. Totality and Infinity 50 Years On. Inner Circle Seminar 171 (11 December 2011)

Emmanuel Lévinas
Existential Pioneers

10. Emmanuel Lévinas
Totality and Infinity (1961)
50 Years On

Inner Circle Seminar No. 171
conducted by
Anthony Stadlen
Sunday 11 December 2011
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Emmanuel Lévinas (30 December 1905 25 December 1995) was a highly original 20th-century philosopher. He introduced Husserl and Heidegger to France, and revered Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927), but asked how Heidegger’s philosophy had in 1933 allowed him to embrace National Socialism. Lévinas’s extraordinary book Totality and Infinity (1961) was his answer. He urged that more primordial than ‘Being’ was the Face of the Other. The Face means: ‘Love your neighbour’, ‘Love the stranger’, ‘Care for the widow and the orphan’, ‘Do not murder’. Philosophy, said Lévinas, should tremble before the infinity of the Other, not subsume him or her in the totality of the Same. How does Lévinas’s thinking differ from that of Freud, Buber, Heidegger, von Hildebrand, Stein, Sartre and others? What is its relevance to the everyday practice of psychotherapy? We devoted Inner Circle Seminar No. 97 (22 January 2006) to Lévinas’s work as a whole, but today we shall focus on Totality and Infinity, 50 years on. Your contribution to the discussion will be welcome.

Venue: Durrants Hotel, 26–32 George Street, Marylebone, London W1H 5BJ (

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £50, others £135; some bursaries; mineral water and liquorice allsorts included; payable in advance; no refunds unless seminar cancelled

Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges.

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