Volume 6, 2006
A Century with Levinas
Horizons de l’affectivité
l’hyperbole comme méthode phénoménologique de Lévinas
The “phenomenological” method according to Emmanuel Lévinas consists of two steps: first, reducing the said (le dit) to the saying (le dire); and second, “hyperbole” in his own words. Reducing the said to the saying, in itself, means in this context of the methodology a method to escape from ontology and cognitive philosophy, and to discover the dimension of inter-human facticity. In the second step of “hyperbole”, Lévinas outlines the horizon of this inter-human facticity as that of affectivity. In this horizon (of ethics), the self is defined as phenomena containing the affectivity related to the two extreme situations: personal (physical and mental) suffering and that of the other. Ultimately, the death of the other person and a person’s own possible death limit the internal structure of this horizon.