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Recognition and the Other
Unformatted Document Text:  Recognition and the Other, p. 14 eyes, would be a response that collapses difference into sameness. "It’s very, very troublesome," he says. Indeed. Conclusion What can the notions of radical alterity and nonreciprocity contribute to discourse ethics? Can they help understand and transform the aforementioned impasses in public discourse? Liberalism’s emphasis on tolerance relegates difference to the margin -- the pathos of liberalism collapses the other into the same in the search for the commons, the unity in community. What would happen if pluralism invited the unuttered unrecognizability of the other and put difference at the center rather than the margin? I believe it could help us to stay in the conversation (keep deliberating) while acknowledging the unknowabilty and radical alterity of the other. “The face is present in its refusal to be contained. In this sense it cannot be comprehended, that is, encompassed” (1969, p. 194). To Levinas, the conversation between same and other is at the heart of the relation. 5 For Levinas, the relation not mutual, but radically asymmetrical and non- reciprocal. “In other words, language is spoken where community between the terms of the relationship is wanting, where the common plane is wanting, is yet to be constituted. It takes place in this transcendence. Discourse is thus the experience of something absolutely foreign... a traumatism of astonishment” (1969, 73). Currently, our discursive practices yield two options: (1) demonize the other (taking the first step toward annihilation) or (2) colonize the other and render difference invisible (taking a second step toward annihilation). In neither case do we truly experience the absolutely foreign. 5 “To recognize the Other is therefore to come to him across the world of possessed things, but at the same time to establish, by gift, community and universality...To speak is to make the world common, to create commonplaces” (1969, 76).

Authors: Lipari, Lisbeth.
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Recognition and the Other, p. 14
eyes, would be a response that collapses difference into sameness. "It’s very, very troublesome,"
he says. Indeed.
Conclusion
What can the notions of radical alterity and nonreciprocity contribute to discourse ethics?
Can they help understand and transform the aforementioned impasses in public discourse?
Liberalism’s emphasis on tolerance relegates difference to the margin -- the pathos of liberalism
collapses the other into the same in the search for the commons, the unity in community. What
would happen if pluralism invited the unuttered unrecognizability of the other and put difference
at the center rather than the margin? I believe it could help us to stay in the conversation (keep
deliberating) while acknowledging the unknowabilty and radical alterity of the other. “The face
is present in its refusal to be contained. In this sense it cannot be comprehended, that is,
encompassed” (1969, p. 194). To Levinas, the conversation between same and other is at the
heart of the relation.
5
For Levinas, the relation not mutual, but radically asymmetrical and non-
reciprocal.
“In other words, language is spoken where community between the terms of the
relationship is wanting, where the common plane is wanting, is yet to be constituted. It
takes place in this transcendence. Discourse is thus the experience of something
absolutely foreign... a traumatism of astonishment” (1969, 73).
Currently, our discursive practices yield two options: (1) demonize the other (taking the
first step toward annihilation) or (2) colonize the other and render difference invisible (taking a
second step toward annihilation). In neither case do we truly experience the absolutely foreign.
5
“To recognize the Other is therefore to come to him across the world of possessed things, but at the same
time to establish, by gift, community and universality...To speak is to make the world common, to create
commonplaces” (1969, 76).


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