Scale and the other: Levinas and geography

Richard Howitt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


This paper seeks to contribute to Geography's recent conversation of identity, landscape, scale and difference. It brings into dialogue previously divergent discussions about space, place and difference and proposes an approach that treats time, space, place and scale as co-equal conceptual and/or analytical elements of cultural landscapes. It argues that many philosophical debates about embodiment, emplacement and difference abstract a universalized notion of 'place', 'body' and 'self' which confounds and conflates scale issues and consequently confuses the dialectical interplay of 'time', 'space', 'being' and 'culture' across scales. The paper takes the work of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995) and the discursive communities around it as a philosophical entry point into these debates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-313
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Cultural geography
  • Difference
  • Embodiment
  • Emplacement
  • Geographical scale
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Infinity
  • Levinas
  • Other
  • Scale politics of spatiality


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