The Levinassian understanding of ‘vigilance’ is absolutely not intuitive; more than that, it might even seem to be the opposite of what one usually means when one speaks of vigilance as ‘sustained attention’. Nevertheless one can put forward the hypothesis that what Levinas describes is in fact faithful to the ‘thing in itself’, to the phenomenon of ‘vigilance’ as revealed in its essence. The Levinassian description of ‘vigilance’ is not only a matter of psychology, but also a matter of gnoseology and of ontology once we consider that ‘vigilance’ gives (access to) what Levinas calls the ‘There is’ (l’il y a). Last but not least, we will see how Levinas, in his latest texts, reveals this core experience as the ultimate test of ethics.
Pour citer cet article :Sebbah François-David (2016/2). "There is" and Ethical Vigilance. In Depraz Natalie (Eds), Phenomenology of vigilance and attention. Philosophy, sciences and technics, Intellectica, 66, (pp.57-66), DOI: n/a.