Vol. 40 No. 1 (2020): Patterns of Contemporary Nihilism

The Double Negation of Sense: Levinas against nihilism

Silvia Dadà
Universities of Pisa / Florence

Published 2020-06-01


  • nihilism,
  • Levinas,
  • il y a,
  • responsibility,
  • non-indifference,
  • disinterest
  • ...More

How to Cite

Dadà, S. (2020). The Double Negation of Sense: Levinas against nihilism. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 40(1), 183–194. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v40i1.98


The article deals with the issue of nihilism and non-sense starting from Emmanuel Levinas’s thought and from his comparison between being and nothing as it is outlined, from the earliest works, in the concept of the il y a. This comparison will lead Levinas in search of escape from the non-sense of the il y a from otherwise than being, which is the responsibility towards the other man (the levinasian “ethics as first philosphy”). The focus of the article is the analysis of the concepts of non-indifference and disinterest, which are discussed in the last part of the article. The ultimate goal is to think of a dimension of sense that does not deny non-sense, but indicates its presence at the very bottom of the ethical relationship, danger and possibility of an authentic relationship of non-indifference with the other man.