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Levinas and the Wisdom of Love
The Question of Invisibility

By Corey Beals

Levinas and the Wisdom of Love
Hardback, 180 pages $24.95
Published: 1st November 2007
ISBN: 9781932792591

Paperback, 186 pages $24.95
Published: 1st November 2010
ISBN: 9781602583382
Format: 9in x 6in

Subjects: All Philosophy

Directly challenging the prevailing interpretation, Corey Beals explores the ideas of twentieth-century philosopher Emmanuel Levinas's concept of love, love's relation to wisdom, and how love makes the Other visible to us. Distinguishing love from other types of wisdom, Beals argues that Levinas's "wisdom of love" is a real possibility, one which grants priority to ethics over ontology.


1 Levinas and Invisibility

2 Levinasian Terminology

3 Levinasian Love

4 Levinasian Priority

5 Levinasian Wisdom

6 The Scales of Wisdom


This volume succeeds in relating phenomenality to the ethics of service. Service makes itself visible in the practical orientation towards the neighbour, a service which originates in a summons from the other. The work is clearly set out, well-written and footnoted. The author is in command of the subject, and this offers a further reading of the relation between love, service, and visibility.

—Michael Purcell, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh

This lucid and accessible interpretation of Levinas's thought is a splendid gift to newcomer and old-timer alike. Taking as his keys Levinas's definition of philosophy as "the wisdom of love in the service of love" and his use of the ancient tale of the ring of Gyges, Beals helps us see that this philosophy of radical responsibility is more demanding than we would like to admit but not so excessive that we can dismiss it as hyperbole.

—Merold Westphal, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

The author sees and quite clearly presents the limitations of the major alternative reading in the secondary literature, the tiresome but oft repeated Derridean-deconstructive appropriation of Levinas. Beals understands the all important priority Levinas gives to ethics over ontology, and thankfully is not grinding some ideological ax. His Levinas is, basically, in my opinion, Levinas.

—Richard A. Cohen, Isaac Swift Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Corey Beals (Ph.D. Fordham University) is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion at George Fox University.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 180 pages

 Paperback , 186 pages
 9in x 6in

  PHI005000, PHI006000, PHI022000
 Baylor University Press

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