Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(749 words)

The word  “alterity” denotes otherness, usually understood as cultural otherness and/or foreignness. As a term of art, alterity appeared only recently in     anthropological and historical discussion; it has taken on increased importance since the 1980s, although the process began in philosophy as early as the 1960s. The term plays a central role in postmodern theory, where it is understood as radical otherness and is discussed especially as a problem of the perception and representation of the Other. As the counterpart to identity, alterity contrasts with what is one’s own;…

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Gareis, Iris, “Alterity”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_016760>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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