Being and Cultural Difference: (mis)understanding otherness in early modernity

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Title Being and Cultural Difference: (mis)understanding otherness in early modernity
Author Mandalios, John
Journal Name Thesis Eleven
Year Published 2000
Place of publication UK
Publisher Sage Publications
Abstract As a precursor to the Enlightenment, early modern European conceptions of being and human alterity formed a critical part of both the birth of modernity and the reception of divergent cultural forms lying beyond the horizon of Western knowledge. The extension of occidental power beyond its familiar shores not only resulted in the coercion and subjugation of countless New World natives but also compelled the Western mind to account for the seemingly radical alterity of `savage' life forms in civilizations hitherto unknown to Europeans. This exacting philosophical demand evidently precluded a recognition initially of cultural difference, largely as a result of a predominantly hierarchical conception of being which, following Lovejoy, we understand as the great Chain of Being. The epistemological, axiological and praxeological dimensions of this essentially metaphysical and hierarchical conception of natural and human alterity are examined to delineate our relation to the other of modernity: the Savage. The latter category of humanity manifests the theoretical difficulty of attempting to explain the nature or being of the `other' human within an exemplary world-historical case of civilizational encounters.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2000 Sage Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. First published in Thesis Eleven. This journal is available online:
Volume 62
Page from 91
Page to 108
ISSN 0725-5136
Date Accessioned 2001-01-01
Language en_AU
Research Centre Socio-Legal Research Centre
Faculty Queensland College of Art
Subject Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Publication Type Article in Scholarly Refereed Journal
Publication Type Code c1

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