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Other, the

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M odern european philosophy, ontology, ethics, political philosophy In phenomenological philosophy since Husserl , humans other than the subject, self, or ego. The self's relation to the Other gives rise to the problem of one's knowledge of other minds that is also discussed in analytical philosophy, but issues concerning the Other in ontology, ethics, and political philosophy have come to be considered more fundamental. Emmanuel Levinas argued that the possibility of ethics rests on respecting the absolute altereity or otherness of the Other rather than reducing the Other to an object of consciousness. Our ability to satisfy this radical demand depends on our understanding of how we can think an altereity that transcends our categories of thought. The Other presents problems of separation, opposition, and alienation. In broader cultural terms, death , madness, and the unconscious have been called the Other because they fall outside the model of rational self-consciousness. The notion of the Other has been embraced in anthropology, post-colonial philosophy, and feminism in an attempt to undermine the entrenched conceptual priority of the metropolitan culture and the male. “The absolutely other is the Other. He and I do not form a number. The collectivity in which I say ‘you’ or ‘we’ is not a plural of the ‘I’.” Levinas, Totality and Infinity ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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