Anthropology and Alterity : Responding to the Other
(Routledge Studies in Anthropology)
Leistle, Bernhard (EDT)
192 p. 24 cm
Introduces the concept of a responsivity to the Other, developed by Bernhard Waldenfels, illustrating its fertility through contributions by eminent scholars from anthropology, psychiatry and literary studies.
Alterity or otherness is a central notion in cultural anthropology and philosophy, as well as in other disciplines. While anthropology, with its aim of understanding cultural difference, tends to take otherness as a fact, there have been vigorous attempts in contemporary philosophy, particularly in phenomenology, to answer the fundamental question: What is the Other? This book brings the two approaches to otherness - the hermeneutical pragmatics of anthropology, and the radical reflection of philosophy - together, with the goal of enriching one through the other. The philosophy of the German phenomenologist Bernhard Waldenfels, up to now little known to anthropologists, has a central position in this undertaking. Waldenfels's concept of a responsivity to the Other offers to cultural anthropology the possibility of a philosophical engagement with the Other that does not contradict the project of making sense of concrete empirical others. The book illustrates the fertility of this new approach to alterity through a broad spectrum of themes, ranging from reflections on theory formation, via discussions of race and human-animal relations, to personal meditations on experiences of alterity.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Alterity and Anthropology: Responding to the Other [Bernhard Leistle] 1. The Emergence of the Radical Other in Phenomenology [Bernhard Leistle] 2. Paradoxes of Representing the Alien in Ethnography [Bernhard Waldenfels] 3. The Friendly Other [Vincent Crapanzano] 4. "Haunted by the Aboriginal": Theory and its Other [Victor Li] 5. The Other Otter: Relational Being at the Edge of Empire [Danielle DiNovelli-Lang] 6. Otherness and Stigmatized Whiteness: Skin Whitening, Vitiligo, and Albinism [Amina Mire] 7. The Alien and the Self [Thomas Fuchs] 8. Intimate and Inaccessible: The Role of Asymmetry in Charismatic Christian Perceptions of God, Self, and Fellow Believers [Christopher Stephan] 9. Pain and Otherness, the Otherness of Pain [C. Jason Throop] 10. Otherness and the Underground: Buried Treasure in the Sierra Tarahumara [Frances Slaney] 11. The Limits of Understanding: Empirical and Radical Otherness in the Andes [Marieka Sax] 12. "The Order of the World": A Responsive Phenomenology of Schreber's Memoirs [Bernhard Leistle] 13. Photography Tears the Subject from Itself [Robert Desjarlais]