Kaunas honored the memory of Historical Philosopher – Emmanuel Levinas

Famous philosopher, who was born in Kaunas, Emmanuel Levinas, is one of the most important XX c. French thinker, who made huge impact on nowadays’ ethical theories. One Kaunas street and square are named after his name. Later on there will be created even Emmanuel Levinas center in Kaunas.

This week in Kaunas was organized international conference ‘Emmanuel Levinas: life and works’.

In this conference participated son of philosopher, famous French pianist and composer Michael Levinas, Sorbonne University professor Danielle Cohen-Levinas, Vilnius University associate professor dr. Aušra Pažėraitė and also Director of LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Center – Viktoras Bachmetjevas.

‘Emmanuel Levinas is one of the most famous son of Kaunas, whose works are still not completely understood. By honoring long history of Jewish Kaunas history, its importance, we must remember its tragic end. It is very important because his parents and brothers have died in Kaunas and it is our duty always to remember that crime against humanity’, – said Mayor of Kaunas City Visvaldas Matijošaitis.

Ambassador of France Claire Lignieres-Counathe mentioned that France strongly support and will provide financial support to the LSMU-based Emannuel Levinas research center.

Michael Levinas expressed hope that we will be creating brighter future in united Europe by retaining his father philosophical ideas.

Professor Cohen-Levinas mentioned the main ethical ideas of Levinas and discussed its importance in contemporary world. Dr. Pažėraitė introduced remained material in Lithuanian archives about Levinas and the time of his family life in Kaunas. Dr. Bachmetjevas spoke about importance of France and French culture in the works of Levinas.

LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Center will be settled in the building of Putvinskis str., in which during interwar times were Diplomatic Representative Office of France. In 2018, according to the Government of Republic of Lithuania, this building was dedicated for LSMU Emmanuel Levinas Center.