The Changing Face of Alterity

Edited by David J. Gunkel, Ciro Marcondes Filho and Dieter Mersch

The figure of the 'other' is fundamental to the concept of communication. Online or offline, communication, which is commonly defined as the act of sending or imparting information to others, is only possible in the face of others. In fact, the reason we communicate is to interact with others—to talk to another, to share our thoughts and insights with them, or to respond to their needs and requests. No matter how it is structured or conceptualized, communication is involved with addressing the other and dealing with the ontological, epistemological, and ethical questions of otherness or alterity. But who or what can be other? Who or what can be the subject of communication? Is the other always and only another human? Or can the other in these communicative interactions be otherwise? This book is about others (and other kinds of others). It concerns the current position and status of the other in the face of technological innovations that can, in one way or another distort, mask, or even deface the other. Ten innovative essays, written by an international team of experts, individually and in collaboration with each other, seek to diagnose the current situation with otherness, devise innovative solutions to the questions of alterity, and provide insight for students, teachers and researchers trying to make sense of the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.

Zum Verlag