chapter  4
96 Pages

Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas

That philosophy died yesterday, since Hegel or Marx, Nietzsche, or Heidegger-and philosophy should still wander toward the meaning of its death-or that it has always lived knowing itself to be dying (as is silently confessed in the shadow of the very discourse which declared philosophia perennis); that philosophy died one day, within history, or that it has always fed on its own agony, on the violent way it opens history by opposing itself to nonphilosophy, which is its past and its concern, its death and wellspring; that beyond the death, or dying nature, of philosophy, perhaps even because of it, thought still has a future, or even, as is said today, is still entirely to come because of what philosophy has

held in store; or, more strangely still, that the future itself has a futureall these are unanswerable questions. By right of birth, and for one time at least, these are problems put to philosophy as problems philosophy cannot resolve.