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Alterity and identity, postmodern theories of

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DE021-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved March 27, 2023, from

Article Summary

Theories of alterity and identity can be said to be ‘postmodern’ if they challenge at least two key features of modern philosophy: (1) the Cartesian attempt to secure the legitimacy of knowledge on the basis of a subject that immediately knows itself and (2) the Hegelian attempt to secure self-knowledge and self-recognition by showing that knowledge and recognition are mediated by the whole. Postmodern thought does not necessarily champion a wholly other, but it generally conceives of self-identity in terms of a radical alterity.

Citing this article:
Fenves, Peter. Alterity and identity, postmodern theories of, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DE021-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

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