2015: Eros and Ethics

July 6-10, 2015

Rome, Italy

Terrace of John Cabot University, Trastevere, Rome, Italy, location and sponsor of 2015 LPSS.

Terrace of John Cabot University, Trastevere, Rome, Italy, location and sponsor of 2015 LPSS

Close reading of Section IV of Levinas’s Totality and Infinity.

Close reading of Section IV of Levinas’s Totality and Infinity

The grand finale dinner in Trastevere, Rome (July 10, 2015).

The grand finale dinner in Trastevere, Rome (July 10, 2015)

Prof. Cohen perusing 1st ed. 1677, (Latin) Spinoza, Opera Posthuma, at Biblioteca dell Academia Nazionale dei Lincea, Rome (July 8, 2015).

Prof. Cohen perusing 1st ed. 1677, (Latin) Spinoza, Opera Posthuma, at Biblioteca dell Academia Nazionale dei Lincea, Rome (July 8, 2015)

Richard A. Cohen,
 Professor of Philosophy, Chair of the Department of Jewish Thought, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Professor Cohen is one of the world’s preeminent Levinas scholars, author of several books on Levinas, the most recent of which is "Out of Control: Confrontations between Spinoza and Levinas" (2016), translator into English of four books by Levinas, and author of numerous articles in modern and contemporary continental philosophy.

The Levinas Center and the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY; John Cabot University, Rome, Italy

John Cabot University
Rome, Italy

The 20th Century philosopher Emmanuel Levinas is known for his incisive phenomenological studies and his original ethical metaphysics of “the face to face.” The 2015 LPSS focused on the combination of these two elements as found in Levinas’s account of eros in Totality and Infinity. Since Plato’s Symposium and the very definition of philosophy as “love of wisdom,” philosophers have made Eros – desire, love, friendship – central to the human condition and to the philosophical enterprise more specifically.  Socrates taught that higher than wisdom is the love of wisdom. Levinas devotes the last part, Section IV, of his magnum opus, Totality and Infinity, to discussing eros, parenthood, filiality, family, fraternity and the “infinite time” of fecundity. The 2015 LPSS accomplished a careful sentence by sentence reading and discussion of every sentence of this important text.


  • Alina Daniela Ciric (PhD Candidate, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  • Brigitta Keintzel (Elise-Richter-Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
  • David Martínez Rojas (PhD Candidate, University of Sussex, United Kingdom)
  • Devorah Wainer (Department of Sociology & Social Policy, School of Social and Political Sciences, University Of Sydney, Australia)
  • Irina Poleshchuk (Post-Doctoral researcher, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; Associate Professor, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania)
  • Rossitsa Varadinova Borkowski (PhD candidate, Faculty of Philosophy, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria)
  • Samuel Buchoul (Independent Researcher & Media Coordinator at Luminous Idea of Life Appreciation (LILA) Foundation, Delhi, India)
  • Selime Soyuçok (PhD Candidate, English Studies, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom)
  • Valerie Oved Giovanini (PhD candidate, Media and Communications, European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Valais, Switzerland)
  • Viktoras Bachmetjevas (Teaching Assistant, Kaunas University of Technology, Department of Philosophy and Psychology, PhD Candidate at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania)


  • Charles Miceli (Lecturer, English Language, Wenzhou-Kean University, Wenzhou, China)
  • Fosco Bugoni (MA student, University of Milano–Bicocca, Milan, Italy)
  • Ioannis Koukas (PhD candidate, St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia, Bulgaria)
  • Sarah Weil (MA student. Philosophy Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel)


  • James McLachlan is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Western Carolina University. He has assisted at the first two LPSSs, in Vilnius and Buffalo. He is past co-chair of the Mormon Studies Group at the American Academy of Religion, member of the board of the Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought, and organizer of the Personalist Seminar. His research interests include 20th century Continental thought, especially Levinas, Sartre and Berdyaev. He also publishes on American and European Personalism, Process Theology, Romanticism and idealism, and Mormon Theology.
  • Jolanta Saldukaitytė is co-organizer of the LPSS, and was organizer of the centennial conference on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas held at the University of Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania, April 2006. She has published several articles on Levinas’s philosophy, especially in its relation to the thought of Martin Heidegger. In 2011 she defended her PhD thesis at the University of Vilnius on “Thinking of Difference in Heidegger and Levinas.” She is currently teaching philosophy at the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences and at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.


  • Jolanta Saldukaitytė, Phd, Philosophy, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Richard A. Cohen, Professor of Philosophy, Chair of the Department of Jewish Thought, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

CONTACT: levinas.center@gmail.com