Levinas as a media theorist: Toward an ethics of mediation

Amit Pinchevski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This article explores the way Levinas communicates his ethical message through the media at work in his work: speech, writing, and rare references to modern media. Levinas's ethical message concerns the import of the relation with the other, a relation that interrupts any attempt at its thematization, including Levinas's own philosophy. Levinas's text serves as an exemplary medium for this ethical message in conveying the teaching of ethics along with the interruption it advocates. The article then extends the logic of the ethical message beyond the two key media present in Levinas's work-speech and writing-to speculate on whether the interruption it effects can be carried over to audiovisual media. Running throughout is the question of mediation, which takes the discussion outside the context of the face to face, where Levinas's thought is typically situated, to the context of the third and of justice. Levinas's thought may thus lead toward a radical ethics of media-radical in the sense that it posits the act of mediation itself as the root of such ethics.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)48-72
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophy and Rhetoric
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Ethics
  • Interruption
  • Levinas
  • Media ethics
  • Mediation


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