3 Answers

  1. In a nutshell, the Other is simply “the other person.” However, if you try to think about what we call this phrase, there are ambiguities. What exactly is the meaning of the word “other”? Another person – is he different in relation to whom and what? We can't imagine anything “different” that isn't “different in relation to something.” Now, the Other is the “other in relation” to whom? To me? So the “other” is not someone like me? It turns out that “I” is the point of reference in relation to which we define “other”, that “other” is someone who has approximately the same needs, thoughts and feelings that I myself would have in his situation. But then it turns out that I can only imagine the other person as a modified, degraded (or, on the contrary, idealized) image of myself. But it's pretty dreary: those who live in a world populated only by their own pale copies are doomed to boredom, loneliness, and narcissism.

    How do you get around this logical trap? Apparently, you should somehow change your way of thinking, your thinking optics. For example, you can say: The other is the one “in whose shoes” I will never visit. I will never experience his joy, pain, or hunger in the same way that I experience my own joy, pain, or hunger, which is called “first – hand”; his inner experience remains completely inaccessible to me, it is given to me only through his word or my imagination. There is a radical dissimilarity between me and another person, and no amount of thinking, feeling, or suffering can bridge this gap. It's not a very cozy idea, but it can be thought out a little further. Due to the fact that the other is “not like me” in this more serious and difficult sense, I am no longer doomed to constantly resume the same thing. Thanks to the Other, something completely unexpected can happen in my own world, something that I myself could not imagine, imagine, invent. The other – as “completely different”, as the one whose existence changes the meaning of my world, shifts me to the periphery of the semantic space, frees me from myself – and gives me a chance to find my own “I”. Well, or at least put a question about it, because the art of philosophy is in questions, not in answers.

  2. In principle, the concept of the Other is correctly defined above. The other is an all-encompassing concept that does not represent the Self. However, I do not agree that the starting point in this dualism is considered to be the Ego. Hegel wrote that the true desire of the Ego is the desire of the Other. If we are going to search for our own Self, then we need a reference point. This point, or rather the limit, is another one/Other. We set a limit (that is, we define) our own Self, through the Other. Thus, I am myself precisely because I am not him, the Other.

    In this regard, it is interesting to look at the separation of I/Other, when the differences are minimal. Freud called it narcissism of small differences, that is, when you are so similar that any small distinguishing feature will be raised to the absolute. For example, twins. How can they define their own Self when the easiest way to do this (physically) is not available. The same is observed among closely living peoples and ethnic groups (examples in this situation are obvious). In itself, the concept of the Other, as well as the concept of the I, is constituted. In the modern world, they are artificially created. We are Russian (German, English, French) because we are not them. We have a special way, special kvass, special national dishes. Creating the opposite of the Self / Other is based on different foundations: historical, social, cultural, political. We are already used to living in a world where the border between the Self and the Other runs along national lines, but this was not the case before. For example, Europe in the Middle Ages existed without such borders.

  3. This is a concept in continental philosophy and some other disciplines, which is characterized by a certain relationship (negation, opposition, difference, alienation, etc.) with a particular identity. This can be a subject / mind (there is a self, and there is a non-self), or a group identified as Another in relation to “us “(the identity of our group) on ontological, social, political, cultural grounds-residents of a house that is not ours, nonresidents, foreigners, enemies, gays, drug addicts, non-people, etc.

    Hegel was one of the first to use the concept of the Other (“constitutive other”) in his ontological model of unity, change and becoming of the Spirit through the opposites of “I – not-I”, but since the 20th century. This concept has mostly been used in sociological, ethical, and epistemological contexts. Phenomenologists (Husserl, implicitly Heidegger, Sartre) used it as a basis for overcoming the subject / object problem and developing “intersubjectivity”, “inhabited world” , etc. Simone de Beauvoir in her” Second Field ” applied the concept in the context of understanding gender relations – in the male world, the other is a woman. This gave rise to a radical feminist philosophy. In postcolonial philosophy, which explores the legacy of imperialism (Fanon), the position of social groups from former European colonies perceived by “others” for cultural, ethnic and economic reasons was studied from this point of view. Marginal philosophers (such as Foucault) have used the Other to analyze how “nonconformal” groups and discourses are displaced from the “center” and “norm” of society “to the margins.” The concept was also used in post-structuralist semiotics (Kristeva, Derrida) and psychoanalysis (Lacan) in an attempt to study the relationship of sign systems, thinking, and society.

    The above does not exhaust all the uses of the “Other”. In addition, non-continental disciplines have sometimes come up with very similar concepts and conclusions – for example, in Zimbardo's “Stanford Prison Experiment” (experimental psychology), the game definition of one group as “others” has led to unexpected consequences.

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