DOI 10.12887/33-2020-1-129-14

Jan WADOWSKI – (Con)Versation as Verbal Expression Accomplished Through the Epiphany of ‘Face to Face’ Co-being: Considerations Inspired by the Philosophy of Emmanuel Lévinas

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Based on Emmanuel Lévinas’s Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, the article comprises a tentative reinterpretation of the concept of  (Con)Versation. The latter is conceived as an expression rather than a result of the relation obtaining between human persons. The relation in question cannot be thematized, but—due to consciousness adjustment—it gives rise to Inter-consciousness. By participating in (Con)Versation and staying ‘face-to-face’ with another, a human person rediscovers her subjectivity, which manifests the core of the metaphysics of love. It is only within the realm of the latter that the dimension of ethics comes to light. Therefore the command, “Do not kill me,” is preceded by the words, ‘I want you to live,’ which signify the fact that, in its unselfishness, being has transcended itself. In this context, it turns out that the fundamental relation, the one that marks (Con)Versation, springs from the realm of the Word, which is God himself.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: dialogue, Other, being-with, Inter-consciousness, ‘face-to-face’, transcendence, uniqueness

Contact: Section of Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics, Department of the Humanities and the Social Sciences, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, pl. Grunwaldzki 11, bud. C-7, p. 1005, 50-377 Wrocław, Poland
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  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. e-ISSN 2720-5355
  3. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 100.00
  4. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  5. DOI Prefix 10.12887