Alterity is a philosophical term meaning "otherness", strictly being in the sense of the other of two (Latin "alter"). It is generally now taken as the philosophical principle of exchanging one's own perspective for that of the "other." The concept was established by Emmanuel Lévinas in a series of essays, collected under the title "Alterity and Transcendence".

The term is also deployed outside of philosophy, notably in anthropology by scholars such as Nicholas Dirks, Johannes Fabian, Michael Taussig and Pauline Turner Strong to refer to the construction of cultural others. The term has gained further use in seemingly somewhat remote disciplines, e. g. historical musicology where it is effectively employed by John Michael Cooper in a study of Goethe and Mendelssohn.

Further reading

*Cooper, John Michael (2007) "Mendelssohn, Goethe, and the Walpurgis Night". University of Rochester Press.
*Fabian, Johannes (1983) "Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object". Columbia University Press.
*Nealon, Jeffrey (1998) "Alterity Politics: Ethics and Performative Subjectivity". Duke University Press.
*Strong, Pauline Turner (1999) "Captive Selves, Captivating Others: The Politics and Poetics of Colonial American Captivity *Narratives." Westview Press/Perseus Books.
*Taussig, Michael (1993) "Mimesis and Alterity". Routledge.

ee also

* Abjection
* Otherness
* Subjectivity

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alterity — Al*ter i*ty, n. [F. alt[ e]rit[ e].] The state or quality of being other; a being otherwise. [R.] [1913 Webster] For outness is but the feeling of otherness (alterity) rendered intuitive, or alterity visually represented. Coleridge. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • alterity — [ôl ter′ə tē] n. the quality or condition of being other or different; otherness * * * …   Universalium

  • alterity — [ôl ter′ə tē] n. the quality or condition of being other or different; otherness …   English World dictionary

  • alterity — noun A philosophical and anthropological term for the other. Cultural alterity is the process by which societies and cultures exclude particular people on account of their otherness …   Wiktionary

  • alterity — al•ter•i•ty [[t]ɔlˈtɛr ɪ ti[/t]] n. the quality or state of being different or feeling alienated from those around you; otherness: His book is a reflection on alterity and identity in school aged immigrants[/ex] • Etymology: [1640 45] …   From formal English to slang

  • alterity — noun Etymology: Late Latin alteritat , alteritas, from alter Date: 1642 otherness; specifically the quality or state of being radically alien to the conscious self or a particular cultural orientation …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • alterity — n. diversity; state of being different; state or quality of being other …   English contemporary dictionary

  • alterity — [al tɛrɪti, ɒl ] noun formal the state of being other or different. Origin C17: from late L. alteritas, from alter other …   English new terms dictionary

  • alterity — al·ter·i·ty …   English syllables

  • alterity —   n. state of being different …   Dictionary of difficult words

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