Manila's Business World on Levinas
Levinas was further convinced that Western humanism was flawed when Martin Heidegger, who considered himself a humanist, flirted with Hitlerism.
"Levinas was enamored of Heidegger," said Mr. Garcia. "He couldn’t understand how an intellectual guy like [the latter] could side with Hitler. It made [Levinas] believe that there was something in Western Humanism that led to Totalitarianism."
In response, Levinas posited that there had to be a shift from what Mr. Garcia called an "I-centered" humanism to an "Other-centered" humanism. "Levinas was a Jew and he was influenced by teachings such as ‘No one lives or dies for himself alone.’ His philosophy asks us if we are Other-oriented, if we do unto others without expecting anything in return."