Until Hegel, the question of otherness had no right of city, solipsism (only the subject existed) still prevailed in Descartes and classical philosophers. Against the anthropomorphic assumptions of the philosophical tradition, the literary “other” may not even be human: it may be a dog (as in the novels of Coetzee), a tree (as in Chekhov’s endangered and eponymous cherry orchard), a machine (as in the science fiction novels of Philip K Dick), a ghost (as in the genre of Gothic fiction), or even a talking horse (as in the Houyhnhms of Swift’s, Ideally, every “other” should be read like a Henry James novel: finely detailed, vivid, richly textured, full of subtleties and nuances, the sum value of which cannot be exhausted by the analyses of either a Cavell or a Nussbaum (assiduous though their approaches might be). We borrow and use language from a source outside ourselves – the big Other. Alexa’s personhood is exactly such a psychological illusion. The God of heaven is accessible without losing anything of his transcendence, but without denying the freedom of the believer “(Ethics and Infinity), Levinas: “The face speaks” (Ethics and Infinity), Husserl: “I do not apprehend the other simply as my double. The advantages of this approach to understanding our awareness of other minds can be seen in the light it throws on common experiences. Other is elusive. Another is the one who embodies and presents me with other ways of thinking in the world, to relate to it with rites, exchanges … different from mine. Kant only began considering our relation with other people in his subsequent Critique of Practical Reason (1788), where he expounded his view that the most crucial feature distinguishing our relationship to other people from our relationship to inanimate objects is the Moral Law. ), then it is the nature of literature both to address philosophical themes, Nasreen Sultana Rahman (editor and proofreader), Hybridity as a Problem in J. M. Coetzee’s Youth, Introductory Essay: “The Other” and “Othering”, Kristina Leganger Iversen’s “Hjartemekanikk”, Other literature: Neil Gaiman and China Mièville, Otherness and the black body in “Beloved”, Filling the gap: The Latehomecomer as a Hidden History of America. Why? At the phenomenological level, literature creates an imaginative space, shared between the author and his or her readers (this would be extended to an audience for a dramatist), and through this imaginative space, readers experience both real (in the roman à clef genre, for instance) and fictional “others” in their otherness. To respect others is also to respect the other in myself and to respect me through others, it is the recognition of belonging to one and the same human condition. Hegel calls this ‘The Dialectic of Self-Consciousness’. Others in philosophy Others, in philosophy, is a recent concept. Here Sartre describes our condition as that of beings who are both subjects (for ourselves) and objects (for Others). But in this state of culture man is torn between two antagonistic things: This “unsociable sociability”, which will allow beyond the disorder and paradoxically put in place a culture, a civilization, effective sociability. The advantages of this approach to understanding our awareness of other minds can be seen in the light it throws on common experiences. Other integrates with my life, I integrate with his by the dialogue and the memory of this objective and objective dialogue which become constitutive of the moments of my life: double objectification, mutual objectification: what denies me as subject and also what constitutes me as a subject, another is the one that alters me and without which I will be in total solipsism. By looking at the concept of the Other, I hope to have thrown some light on the nature of this division. The state of nature was defined by a state of permanent war of all against all: Hobbes: “man is a wolf for man”. This appears to be one of the innate ways in which we’re inclined to think. The second part of the book, however, confronts the particular issues that arise when the object of our perception is itself recognized as another subject, another person. The Kantianism of Hegel and Nietzsche by Robert Zimmerman, Introduction to German Philosophy by Andrew Bowie. It is because man is moved by a personal interest that he stands against other men, this phenomenon creates stimulation, the emulation between men. The philosophical “other” is often delivered to us in such abstract terms that we often fail to recognize it in the starving cat at Blindern or the drug addicts who frequent the alley by Oslo Central station. There his focus was on what categories were necessary for us to be able to have an experience of the physical world. Agamben seems to correct for problematic relations between alterity and self with the concept of the “Whatever Being”; philosophy hasn’t failed. A classic response to this question, echoed by many later writers, was given by John Stuart Mill: “I conclude that other human beings have feelings like me, because, first, they have bodies like me, which I know in my own case to be the antecedent condition of feelings; and because, secondly, they exhibit the acts, and other outward signs, which in my own case I know by experience to be caused by feelings.”An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy, 1865, A sceptical challenge to Mill’s conclusion has been pursued in recent years by the thought experiment of the ‘philosophical zombie’, popularized by David Chalmers. One common symptom suffered by psychotic patients is that the people around them are not felt or thought to be real people, but automata; and this can include their relatives, friends, and the doctors trying to help them. I can only be recognized as awareness by another consciousness: I can only be recognized as self-consciousness by another self-awareness. She speaks in a soft, unobtrusive, female voice. It has been literature rather than philosophy which has served as the vanguard for the recognition of “the other”: from what else do postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, feminism, ecocriticism, and gender studies spring, if not from an extant literary corpus which – to borrow a Marlovian turn of phrase – attempts to canvass every quiddity? It is the pied beauty in praise of which Hopkins sang, the haecceitas or ‘thisness’ of every individual which the philosophical tradition, through Duns Scotus, came closest to delineating, Woolf’s Mrs Brown in her corner, whom philosophy, like the figure of Mr Bennett, has deigned not to notice. Such is the nature of the fictional mode that “the other” need not even exist in order for us to sympathize with him/her, and this is something the philosophical tradition is sadly unable to account for. You may even have had conversations with her. Without others, the world would be reduced to my only point of view, the world would be reduced to the only representation I make of it. The stick in water still looks bent, even though we know it isn’t. But we can never be aware of both these aspects at the same time. ), then it is the nature of literature both to address philosophical themes and to include that which resists thematization.
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