I'm reading Levinas' book "From God who comes to the idea" (a Google translate from "De Dieu qui vient à l'idée"), and in the chapter "questions and answers" (a Q&A Levinas had with Dutch philosophers) appears a line "the other appears in a pantomathic way". I've looked up the definition of pantomath - basically a person who wants to know everything - and I just don't see the relation.

This line in the answer is related to the line in the question that stated that "when I read Finite and Infinity, it seems to me that the face of the other are as if they appear out of nowhere, what gives [Levinas'] philosophy a pantomathic characterism".

[note - all quotes are a vague translation by me, I hope you understand.]

  • They are those thou shalt not kill. These other humans make demands on us by their mere presence. They are creatures who want to know just as we want to know, and we sense and comprehend that. [I knew just a tiny bit about Levinas before you asked this question. So I just looked around on the web and pieced this together, so I am not a specialist on Levinas:)]. – Gordon Jan 29 '18 at 19:07
  • @Gordon this doesn't explain the "pantomathic characterism" though. Oh and you should definitely read more ;) – Yechiam Weiss Jan 29 '18 at 21:46
  • 2
    "Phantomatic", perhaps? – Luís Henrique Jan 30 '18 at 0:20
  • @LuísHenrique oh wow I haven't thought of that. My translation from Hebrew probably caused this horrible mistake. That actually fits way better than pantomathic :D – Yechiam Weiss Jan 30 '18 at 0:30

I just wanted to close this question, so thanks to @LuísHenrique I realized I mistakenly translated the word from Hebrew (פנטומטי) to pantomathic instead of phantomatic (a weird word to use nonetheless). That way those lines are much clearer.

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