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Ook in 2013 verzorg ik de praktische organisatie van de Philosophy Summerschool aan de Universiteit van Tilburg, onder de leiding van de Britse filosoof Simon Crichley. Een internationale groep promovendi verdiept zich gedurende één week in een onderwerp. Summerschool is in 2013 gewijd aan de Franse denker Emmanuel Levinas.

Levinas’s work has become a topic of intense intellectual fascination and factional disagreement in recent years. From the relative obscurity in which his work languished until the 1980s, Levinas’s conception on ethics has become a hugely influential and highly familiar position. But perhaps it has become too familiar, reduced to a series of platitudes about ‘the face of the other’, ‘alterity’ and ‘ethics as first philosophy’. The task of this year’s Tilburg Philsophy Summer School is to begin a process of creative defamiliarization of Levinas’s thought through nothing more complex than a reading of his work, that is to say, the major philosophical writings, but also the recently published opus posthumous. Levinas extraordinarily rich and powerful writing wildly exceeds any reductive caricature.

Simon Critchley