Alphonso Lingis (born November 23, 1933 in Crete, Illinois) is an American philosopher, writer and translator, with Lithuanian roots, currently Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. His areas of specialization include phenomenology, existentialism, modern philosophy, and ethics. Lingis is also known as a photographer, and he complements the philosophical themes of many of his books with his own photography.
|Alma mater||Catholic University of Leuven (PhD), Loyola University Chicago (BA)|
|Era||20th-century philosophy, Contemporary philosophy|
|Institutions||Pennsylvania State University (emeritus)|
|Phenomenology, Existentialism, Modern philosophy, Ethics|
Lingis attended Loyola University in Chicago, then pursued graduate studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. His doctoral dissertation, written under Alphonse de Waelhens, was a discussion of the French phenomenologists Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Paul Sartre. Returning to the United States, Lingis joined the faculty at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. In the mid-1960s he moved to Penn State University, where he published numerous scholarly articles on the history of philosophy, developing a passionate engagement with Continental philosophy that would prove vital to his later book career. Lingis also began working at his translation projects, and over the years, translated authors included Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Pierre Klossowski.
His first book was Excesses (1983). Lingis followed up on this project in 1994 by publishing three books: The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common, Abuses, and Foreign Bodies. In 2000, in his mid-60's, Lingis released the inspirational Dangerous Emotions, which involved a series of limit-experience "dares" along with references to a broad range of philosophical topics. Later books include Trust (2004), The First Person Singular (2007), Violence and Splendor (2011) and Irrevocable: A Philosophy of Mortality (2018). In his best books, listed above, Lingis's philosophical style involves a visceral, occasionally obscene globe-trotting adventure anthropology referencing Continental philosophy and science. Lingis's "phenomenology" monographs, on the other hand, (e.g. The Imperative (1998)) are relatively dull. Lingis only comes to life in his adventure books, proving once and for all his motto that "The unlived life is not worth examining."
- Excesses: Eros and Culture (1983)
- Libido: The French Existential Theories (1985)
- Phenomenological Explanations (1986)
- Deathbound Subjectivity (1989)
- The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common (1994)
- Abuses (1994)
- Foreign Bodies (1994)
- Sensation: Intelligibility in Sensibility (1995)
- The Imperative (1998)
- Dangerous Emotions (2000)
- Trust (2004)
- Body Transformations (2005)
- The First Person Singular (2007)
- Wonders Seen in Forsaken Places: An essay on the photographs and the process of photography of Mark Cohen (2010)
- Contact [photographs] (2010)
- Violence and Splendor (2011)
- The Alphonso Lingis Reader, edited by Tom Sparrow (2018)
- Irrevocable: A Philosophy of Mortality (2018)
Translations (French into English)Edit
- Emmanuel Levinas, De l'existence à l'existant (1947). Translated by Lingis in 2001 as Existence and Existents.
- Levinas, Totalité et infini: essai sur l'extériorité (1961). Translated by Lingis in 1969 as Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority.
- Levinas, Autrement qu'être ou au-delà de l'essence (1974). Translated by Lingis as Otherwise than Being, or Beyond Essence (Springer, 1991). ISBN 978-90-247-2374-4
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Le visible et l'Invisible (1964). Translated by Lingis in 1968 as The Visible and the Invisible.
- Pierre Klossowski, Sade, mon prochain (1947). Translated by Lingis in 1991 as Sade My Neighbor.
- Thomas J. Altizer, Edward Casey, Thomas L. Dumm, et al., Encounters with Alphonso Lingis (2003)
- Bobby George and Tom Sparrow, Itinerant Philosophy: On Alphonso Lingis (2014)
- Randolph Wheeler, Anne Ashbaugh, Wolfgang W. Fuchs, Graham Harman, Alexander E. Hooke, Alphonso Lingis, et al., Passion in Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Alphonso Lingis (2016)
- Alexander E. Hooke, Alphonso Lingis and Existential Genealogy: The First Full Length Study Of The Work Of Alphonso Lingis (November 1, 2019)
- "Alphonso Lingis: Professor Emeritus of Philosophy". Penn State Department of Philosophy. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Shindler, Michael (February 10, 2019). "Lingis Among the Nightingales". The University Bookman. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- Lingis, Alphonso. "Antarctic Summer," in Abuses, p. 91. Print.