The Other or How to Dispose of It. A Prolegomena to All Future Alterology that Would Like to Present Itself as Phenomenology

Claudio Majolino
Stéphane Desroys du Roure


Phenomenology was first an egology (Husserl), then an ontology (Heidegger). Today, it takes more and more the form of what we may call an “alterology,” that is, an attempt to think the constitutive phenomenon of a radical alterity. This paper aims to put the resources of “alterology” to the test by way of a descriptive analysis of the alterity of other individuals. It first examines the texts of Levinas, stressing his (voluntary) conflation of the other person and absolute alterity. It then presents the thought of J.-L. Marion as an attempt to overcome some problems in Levinas’ thesis concerning the relation to individuals. Yet in both cases, and in spite of their differences, once we gain access to the phenomenon of the alterity of the Other, we thus lose the sense of an other as an individual. An interest in alterity is therefore motivated by the aim of systematically providing a device with which one is able to diminish the constitutive power of subjectivity, as opposed to a phenomenological account of the way in which the other shows herself as something emphatically singular – i.e. her “style of appearing.


Article in: English

Article published: 2009-09-15

Keyword(s): Husserl; Levinas; Marion; other; alterity; individuality

DOI: 10.3846/1822-430X.2009.17.3.5-16

Full Text: PDF pdf

Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication / Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija ISSN 2029-6320, eISSN 2029-6339
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License.