Heidegger and Levinas on First Philosophy Comparison Essay by Righter

Heidegger and Levinas on First Philosophy
A comparative analysis of Heidegger and Levinas' ideas of "First Philosophy."
# 153829 | 3,786 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2014 | US
Published on Feb 19, 2014 in Philosophy (History - 20th Century)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper examines Levinas' essay, "Ethics as First Philosophy" and Heidegger's text, "Introduction to Metaphysics" toexplain and compare both philosophers' views. The paper explains that although both philosophers involved themselves with the question of Being, Heidegger considered metaphysics to be fundamental to the study of philosophy, while Levinas focused on the importance of ethics. This paper defends Heidegger's view that, in fact, metaphysics - as opposed to ethics - constitutes "first philosophy".

Heidegger and the Question of Being
Levinas and the Priority of the Other
Heidegger vs. Levinas
A Brief Note about Language

From the Paper:

"There is a sense of urgency that is revealed in Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics:
the author claims that we are in a state of decline, that "the spiritual fate of the West" is at stake, and that a decision in regards to the question of Being is demanded of us. According to Heidegger, we have lost touch with the true meaning of Being, and for this reasonHans-Georg Gadamer explained Heidegger's intellectual project as an attempt to describe the history of metaphysics as "a unified occurrence of...increasing forgetfulness-of-being." But why is the question of Being so important? How are we in a state of decline? And what sort of decision ought we to make in regards to the question of Being? For Heidegger, the question, "Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?" is fundamentalbecause it "both holds in question a possible ground of being and functions as the groundingfor all appearing things." In other words, the question asks how it is possible for beings toexist at all and it also holds within it the basic fact that beings exist in the world.According to Heidegger, the "state of decline" is evinced by modern technology and its cheapening ofphysical beings that exist in the world as a result of human appropriation and utilization of them."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Avram, Wes. "On the Priority of 'Ethics' in the Work of Levinas." The Journal of Religious Ethics. Vol. 24, No. 2. Fall, 1996.
  • Burrgraeve, Roger. "The Other and Me: Interpersonal and Social Responsibility in Emmanuel Levinas." Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia. Vol. 62, No. 2/4. April - December, 2006.
  • Fell, Joseph P. "Heidegger's Notion of Two Beginnings." The Review of Metaphysics.Vol. 25, No. 2. December, 1971.
  • Gadamer, Hans-Georg and Campbell, Karen. "Heidegger and the History of Philosophy." The Monist. Vol. 64, No. 4. October, 1981.
  • Heidegger, Martin. Introduction to Metaphysics. Trans. Fried, Gregory and Polt, Richard. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Heidegger and Levinas on First Philosophy (2014, February 19) Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/heidegger-and-levinas-on-first-philosophy-153829/

MLA Format

"Heidegger and Levinas on First Philosophy" 19 February 2014. Web. 22 October. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/heidegger-and-levinas-on-first-philosophy-153829/>