The Question of Otherness

Brian Treanor

in Aspects of Alterity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226849
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235100 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Question of Otherness

Show Summary Details


The death of the Grand Narrative and the host of questions that followed its demise, like giants rising from the spilled blood of Uranus, are tied directly to what may be called “the question of otherness”. This is because otherness is precisely what Grand Narratives seek to do away with. Anything unknown—that is, anything foreign, novel, surprising, disturbing, or otherwise resistant to the neat categories of the Narrative—challenges the comprehensiveness of the Narrative. Grand Narratives will not tolerate otherness; their motto is “a place for everything and everything in its place”. However, the demise of Grand Narratives leaves open the possibility that some things do not have a neat and tidy place within a comprehensive system. In the most basic sense, the question of otherness asks us to consider what it means for something or someone to be other than the self. This book examines the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas and Gabriel Marcel concerning otherness.

Keywords: Grand Narrative; otherness; self; Emmanuel Levinas; Gabriel Marcel; philosophy

Chapter.  4132 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Fordham University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.