from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun The state of being different, especially with respect to one's perception of one's identity within a culture; otherness.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The state or quality of being other or different.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun rare The state or quality of being other; a being otherwise.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun philosophy, anthropology
Otherness; the entity in contrast to which an identity is constructed.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
But exactly how much alterity is necessary to do this?
I juxtapose Halperin's version of Greek alterity with Davidson's precisely because both versions together allow us to consider how alterity is necessarily selective.
Moreover, I will show how in Shelley's essay, alterity is a strategy for controlling the traffic between identity and alterity, rather than a quasi-objective form of otherness.
I have argued that alterity is a post-modern form of objectivity in that it claims to deliver difference even as it controls the traffic between identity and difference.
He has thus refined his notion of alterity from a "priggish" one that would not acknowledge any resemblance (14) between ancient paederasty and modern homosexuality, to an alterity that now "acknowledge [s], promote [s], and support [s] a heterogeneity of queer identities, past and present"
These two moments of selection suggest that alterity is — like a self-conscious objectivity — a composite of the historian's desire and the object of that desire.
Indeed, my hermeneutic principles, which insist that any notion of alterity is inevitably determined by reference to the subject who constructs it and thus by reference to our present, forbid me to imagine, let alone to lobby for, any such transcendental object of historical knowledge and desire.
Ward contends that sameness, not alterity, is the primary force that consolidated a cohesive British identity by psychologically binding Britain with its white settler communities across the globe (245).
Sha's criticism of the fetishization of alterity is a familiar theme in the history of hermeneutics; Paul Ricoeur, for example, describes the "illusion ... that puts an end to our collusion with the past and creates a situation comparable to the objectivity of the natural sciences, on the grounds that a loss of familiarity is a break with the contingent" (74).
This epistemological question acquires greater urgency in a climate in which identity and identification are such suspect terms, a climate in which alterity is always already a defensive posture.