Anthropology and Alterity: Responding to the Other, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Anthropology and Alterity

Responding to the Other, 1st Edition

Edited by Bernhard Leistle


314 pages

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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]

About the Editor

Bernhard Leistle is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Carleton University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General