UBC Faculty Research and Publications

“I’m a Pacifist” : Peace in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas Lawrence, Sean


This paper develops and examines the idea and importance of peace in the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, starting from an anecdote regarding his parody of Ernst Cassirer during a student performance in Davos. It examines Levinas’s stated views on peace from across his career, arguing Levinas should be viewed as a pacifist, albeit a highly original one, who shows that political structures are characterized by violence but reveal their origins in the radical peace of the face-to-face encounter.

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