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

The Double Negation of Sense: Levinas against nihilism. (2020). 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 philosphyâ€). 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.