Thinking identity with difference: Society and theory

  • Predrag Krstić Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory; University of Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: identity, difference, sameness, otherness, social theory, philosophy


The first part of the article notes the sudden and conspicuous interest for the problem of identity at the turn of the 21st century. It presents Modern and postmodern conceptualizations of collective identity of social theorists. In the second part, the text draws on the legacy of philosophical speculation of the same period. The article aims to show that many of the dilemmas faced by latterday humanities in their efforts to articulate their thinking of identity as well as difference still have a relevant “pre-game” in the structural and dialectical
interrelatedness thematized by philosophers of classical German idealism and the “philosophers of difference.” The text concludes that such “metaphysical” reflection comprises an unavoidable element, which can only be ignored by social theory at its own peril, even if it is not bound by the reflection’s findings.


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